Weight loss social support in 140 characters or less: use of an online social network in a remotely delivered weight loss intervention
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Little is known about how online social networking can help enhance weight loss. To examine the types of online social support utilized in a behavioral weight loss intervention and relationship of posting and weight loss. A sub-analysis of the content and number of posts to Twitter among participants (n = 47) randomized to a mobile, social network arm as part of a 6-month trial among overweight adults, examining weight loss, use of Twitter, and type of social support (informational, tangible assistance, esteem, network, and emotional support). A number of Twitter posts were related to % weight loss at 6 months (p < 0.001). Initial reported weight loss predicted engagement with Twitter (p < 0.01) but prior Twitter use or initial Twitter engagement did not. Most Twitter posts (total posts n = 2,630) were Informational support (n = 1,981; 75 %), with the predominant subtype of Teaching (n = 1,632; 62 %), mainly in the form of a status update (n = 1,319). Engagement with Twitter was related to weight loss and participants mainly used Twitter to provide Information support to one another through status updates.
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- Weight loss social support in 140 characters or less: use of an online social network in a remotely delivered weight loss intervention
Translational Behavioral Medicine
Volume 3, Issue 3 , pp 287-294
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Social support
- Weight loss
- Social media
- Mobile health
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 800 Sumter Street, Suite 216, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA
- 2. Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
- 3. Department of Health Behavior and Education, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA