Social media 'could help fight childhood obesity'

4 December 2012

Using online communication and social media could help combat childhood obesity, a new study has shown.

Research published in the journal Circulation has found that internet-based weight loss interventions could help children to shift some pounds by increasing physical activity and improving eating habits.

Jennifer S Li, chair of the writing group, noted that social media is becoming an increasing part of people's lives, and healthcare providers need to embrace its potential when it comes to weight loss.

The group analysed internet-based interventions and found that it could boost success in losing weight.

"The studies we looked at suggest that more parental involvement and more interaction with counselors and peers was associated with greater success rates for overweight children and teens who participated in an online intervention," said Li.

Factors that influenced the success of the programme included whether the rest of the family was involved in the intervention, how much communication and feedback with a councillor or support group was involved, and the frequency with which the programmes were used.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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