Online social connections key factor in weight loss
Want to lose weight? Try Facebook-ing at the gym. According to a new study done in Spain, there may be a correlation between the number of friends you have on social networks and your ability to lose weight.
Researchers analyzed data from an international online weight-management program by focusing on 5,400 people out of 22,400. All participants were in the program for at least six months and posted their weight loss progress at least twice during the study period. Researchers found that after six months, people who had a high number of social network friends and whose friends also had many friends in the online community--an 8.3 percent decrease in body weight. By contrast, those in the weight management program who had no friends in the online community experienced a 4.1 percent decrease in body weight.
The findings suggest that “social connectedness is related to any goal people try to achieve”, according to lead study author Julia Poncela-Casasnovas. She believes online weight management programs using social networks could be an effective tool in fighting the obesity epidemic in many western countries, including the U.S., where more than 35 percent of adults are now considered obese.