Check out this article from the University of South Carolina. The article highlights a recent weight-loss study that actually examined the use of Twitter as a component of behavioral weight loss intervention. With a mix of Podcast and mobile use, participants followed each other on Twitter with a goal of providing each other social support while in the weight loss program. Over 6 months, over 2500 tweets were made with 75% of them being informational/teaching. Some offered emotional support as well. Those who engaged with Twitter were more successful with losing weight. A metric was even attached to the weight loss…every 10 posts to Twitter generated about a -0.5 percent weight loss!
This was an important study as programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are now offering support online and thru online communities. It seems Twitter makes all the difference for people because of the truly social aspect of it. Sharing their tips, challenges, and milestones helps with weight loss because of the social support.
As weight loss, paleo diet, eating clean ,etc become current buzzwords in the fitness industry, social media is right along beside the movement and yet again, helping people because of the “social” aspect of its platforms.