If you have gained a little weight recently and are desperate to lose it then there maybe a surprising method you could use.
It turns out that using Twitter could be a surprising way to help with your weight issues.
A study published in the Translational Behavioural Medicine journal suggests that this social networking website could offer you all the support you need, with many other dieters in the same position as yourself willing to offer advice and all the motivation you will need to achieve your goals.
Motivation through status updates
According to a team of researchers at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health the more status updates you read about diet and exercise the more weight you could lose.
The study undertaken showed that for every 10 updates the volunteers read, 0.5% of their body weight was lost.
Lead researcher, Brie Turner-McGrievy had this to say:
“The results show that those who regularly used Twitter as part of a mobile weight loss program lost more weight.”
What did the study involve?
Over the course of a 6 month period, 96 overweight men and women were split into two groups.
Both groups received two 15 minute podcasts on diet and exercise every week for the first 3 months, and another two 5 minute podcast every week for the remaining 3 months.
One half of the group was given access to an app that could monitor their diet and activity levels, while also allowing access to Twitter.
What were the results?
Over the 6 month period both groups lost weight, although those that used Twitter lost the most.
It is believed that Twitter provided extra support to these dieters when they needed it.
“Traditional behavioural 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.”
“We wanted to find a way to provide the group support we normally deliver during a face-to-face weight loss intervention to the online community.”
“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.”
Despite these promising results, these kind of techniques are not new. Offline weight loss support groups like Weight Watchers or Slimming World have been offering similar support for years.
It seems now though that Twitter offers a more cost effective approach.