Social networking has become a part of our daily lives. Whether to keep in touch with your friends or family or to build professional and personal connections. However social networking can do more than increasing the circumference of your social circle. Find out how?

A recent study published in the journal Health Affairs has stated that social networking programs designed to help people lose weight could play a role in the global fight against obesity.

Where did this data come from?

Researchers from the Imperial College London compiled data from 12 studies spread across the US, Europe, East Asia and Australia which trialed social networking services for weight loss, involving a total of 1,884 participants.

What did the researchers find out?

The results showed that people who used the online weight loss services achieved a collective decrease in body mass index (BMI) by a value of 0.64, which the authors describe as modest but significant.

“One advantage of using social media is it offers the potential to be much more cost-effective and practical for day-to-day use when compared to traditional approaches,” said lead study author Dr. Hutan Ashrafian, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London.

“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,” Dr. Ashrafian 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.

Source: IANS

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