Social Networking Efforts Have Helped Reduce Obesity, Study Finds | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Social Networking Efforts Have Helped Reduce Obesity, Study Finds

September 8, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

A social networking campaign can lower the body mass index (SMI) of someone who is overweight in the short-term, reveals a recent research conducted in the United Kingdom.

The researchers, at Imperial College London, did a systematic review of 12 studies that involved 1,884 patients, 941 whom received an intervention that used social networking services to reduce their weight. What they found was that those who completed the social networking intervention had a lower BMI (0.64 percent) and experienced a great change in BMI from their baseline (0.66 percent).

The studies varied. Nine of the 12 used web-based tools, one used mobile technology, and two used internet and telephone communication. Two studies used armbands with real-time displays of output, energy expenditure, and minutes spent on vigorous physical activity. Other studies used pedometers. Some studies used direct messages others provide personalized feedback, generated by physical activity information being uploaded on a social networking service site.

While there was a significant reduction in BMI, the researchers found that it was only temporary. Most of the change occurred over six months and the changes were less dramatic over 12 months. “This  suggests that compliance may be a factor in achieving a long-term, sustainable reduction in BMI,” the authors wrote. Furthermore, using the social networking services led to a 1.4 percent reduction in body weight and 0.79 percent reduction in waist circumference. These changes are inconsequential, the researchers say.

Ultimately, while social networking interventions can be effective, the researchers say that they must be used in conjunction with larger, multifaceted approaches to lose weight.

The research was published in the most recent issue of Health Affairs.

Topics

News

Appalachia Project to Study Relationship Between Increased Broadband Access, Improved Cancer Care

The Federal Communications Commission and the National Cancer Institute have joined forces to focus on how increasing broadband access and adoption in rural areas can improve the lives of rural cancer patients.

Survey: By 2019, 60% of Medicare Revenues will be Tied to Risk

Medical groups and health systems that are members of AMGA (the American Medical Group Association) expect that nearly 60 percent of their revenues from Medicare will be from risk-based products by 2019, according to the results from a recent survey.

83% of Physicians Have Experienced a Cyber Attack, Survey Finds

Eighty-three percent of physicians in a recent survey said that they have experienced some sort of cyber attack, such as phishing and viruses.

Community Data Sharing: Eight Recommendations From San Diego

A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.