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 author noted.
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.