Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Twitter helps people trying to lose weight

15 January 2013, 10:55

Using Twitter may help people lose weight by providing them with social support, researchers report.

A six-month study of 96 overweight and obese people found that their use of Twitter - a popular online social networking service - as part of a weight-loss program improved their chances of shedding excess pounds.

"The results show that those who regularly utilised Twitter as part of a mobile weight-loss program lost more weight," study leader Brie Turner-McGrievy, of the department of health promotion, education and behaviour, at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, said in a university news release.

How the study was done

The study, published in the current issue of the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine, is one of the first to examine the use of Twitter as part of a behavioural weight-loss program, the study authors said.

"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," Turner-McGrievy said. "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."

The participants all had Internet-capable mobile devices and were divided into two groups, both of which received two 15-minute podcasts per week for three months and two five-minute mini-podcasts per week during the last three months of the study. The podcasts provided information about nutrition, exercise and goal-setting.

But in one of the groups, participants also followed each other on Twitter with the goal of providing social support to one another as they tried to lose weight. In addition, two daily messages from a weight counsellor were meant to encourage discussion among these participants.

What the study revealed

During the study, there were 2 630 Twitter posts. Seventy-five percent of those were informational, such as a participant providing details about new achievements in their effort to lose weight. Other types of posts involved emotional support.

Overall, both groups of participants lost an average of 2.7% of their excess weight after six months. But those who used Twitter were more successful at losing weight, and the researchers said that every 10 posts to Twitter corresponded with about a 0.5% weight loss.

- Health24


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...