Is Facebook and Twitter Promising in the Fight of Childhood Obesity?
Results from a new scientific statement showed that Facebook and other social media tools could be used as effective weapons to fight childhood obesity.
The study was carried out by a group of researchers from American Heart Association (AHA) and published online on Dec.3. The group examined the effect of Internet-based interventions on children losing weight, increasing physical activity and eating habits.
"Teenagers are texting and using Facebook and other social media as their primary communication with their peers, and we need to find out what factors can be incorporated into social media that will increase the effectiveness of these interventions to initiate and maintain weight loss in kids and adolescents," says Jennifer S. Li, leader of the researcher group, in an AHA press release.
Yet the statement admitted that the results on the social media intervention have been mixed and showed little chance to be reproduced. The statement also acknowledged several drawbacks associated with the social media platforms.
However, the author believed that the mixed results are not the reason to give up on further research to find more specific answers for the issue.
"Doctors need to understand digital technology better so that they can offer guidance to patients and their families on avoiding such issues, and will be aware of any such problems that occur," she says.
Recent research showed that nearly 95 percent of U.S. teen aged 12 to 17 actively uses social media tools.