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Social networks and smart phone app help shed weight

Fri 11 May, 2012 // Firstnumber Team
Smart phone app helps shed weight

More and more research has led to the belief that obesity could in some cases be caused by an addiction to junk food. Doctors hope treatments similar to Alcoholics Anonymous could help tackle the growing trend.

The social networks offer support and advice for people looking to lose weight. Members are not judged on any grounds. Developer Dr Robert Pretlow of the Research Institute at eHealth International in Seattle, USA spoke of his discoveries at the European Congress of Obesity in Lyon, France.

“While weight loss from social networking is not as much as face-to-face weight loss programmes, social networking is much cheaper and much more widely available," Dr Pretlow told participants.

“Group support helps the obese person tolerate withdrawal from problem foods and adds motivation to keep going. Re-addiction is prevented by socially learning to cope with life without turning to food."

Smart phone apps were found to be even more effective among young people. Website users lost an average of 7.4lbs after signing up to the Weight2Rock network, while W8Loss2Go app users lost an average of 10lbs at the time research was carried out.

The NHS Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: England 2012 report reveals alarming figures. Around 30% of boys and girls aged 2 to 15 were classed as either overweight or obese in 2010.

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