A new research has found that social networking
programmes designed to help people lose weight could play a role in the global
fight against obesity.
Researchers of the Imperial College London
compiled data from 12
researches spread across the US, Europe, East Asia and Australia which trialled
social networking services for weight loss, involving as many as 1,884
participants. The findings showed that people who used these services achieved
a collective decrease in body mass index (BMI) by a value of 0.64, which the
researchers describe as modest but significant.
Lead study author Dr. Hutan Ashrafian, from the department of surgery and
cancer at Imperial College London said, "One advantage of using social media is
that it offers the potential to be much more cost-effective and practical for
day-to-day use when compared to traditional approaches."
"It is not the only solution to the obesity epidemic but it should be
introduced as an element of every country's counter obesity strategy," the
The paper, published in the journal Health Affairs
, was one of 10
reports on global healthcare policy written for the World Innovation Summit for
Health (WISH), an initiative of Qatar Foundation. The international initiative
aims at promoting innovations in healthcare delivery around the world.