Researchers have found another real world use of Twitter i.e. it can be used to lose weight. A pleasant combination of technology and health.
This research has been published online in the journal of Translational Behavioral Medicine.
Earlier studies have reported the use of Twitter and other social networking sites to analyze the health-trends and other health related questions in the world.
Researchers, in this study, reported that Twitter can also be used as a support system in the weight loss plan. They found that the people, who used Twitter, provide informational support to each other through their short status updates.
Users of Twitter support each other and give such updates that would inspire others to follow the same thing such a Twitter update from a participant was “I avoided eating a pastry this morning at a breakfast meeting! I did have a skim Mocha without whipped cream… not too bad”.
Researchers observed that every 10 Twitter posts whether in the form of teaching or in the form of support helped in reducing 0.5% of body weight.
“The results show that those who regularly utilized Twitter as part of a mobile weight loss program lost more weight,” Turner-McGrievy of the Arnold School’s Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, said in a statement.
“Traditional behavioral weight loss interventions generally provide social support through weekly, face-to-face group meetings. While we know this is effective, it is costly and can create a high degree of burden on participants,” she added. “Providing group support through online social networks can be a low cost way to reach a large number of people who are interested in achieving a healthy weight.”
This way of social support in weight loss programs can also be used for people living in farther areas. However, further research is needed in this regard as recommended by authors.
Turner-McGrievy, G., & Tate, D. (2013). Weight loss social support in 140 characters or less: use of an online social network in a remotely delivered weight loss intervention Translational Behavioral Medicine DOI: 10.1007/s13142-012-0183-y