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Social media tool in weight loss

Publishing Date : 18 May, 2015

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Women from different walks of life are now using social media to help bolster weight loss and fitness. Facebook, perhaps the most popular site for Batswana men and women, has seen many take to their walls their struggles with obesity and weight loss.

Various international studies, mainly university and small have said that social media has proven to be a motivational tool in one’s weight loss chronicles. A Facebook group, Weight Watchers Forum Botswana claims, “We are women who desire to live a healthy lifestyle, take the Fat off our lives and still enjoy doing it by offering Support and Encouragement while fighting the battle.”

The 819 member group, has members sharing healthy eating tips, advice and before and after photos to motivate members. Occasionally, a member would post, a rather personal question or comment about her struggles with weight loss, and the members would follow with advice, support, or kudos if need be.

“WWFB is also a platform that promotes eating healthy food with the benefits of losing weight of course. Exercising and clean eating is our motto,” the group introduction statement reads.

The set-up almost comes across as an AA type meeting, only it is ubiquitous. “I don't want anyone feeling lonely in the group, I don't want anyone being angry or feeling lost…and I don't want any animosity amongst yourselves…Because there’s only one Enemy is this group. THAT IS "FAT"

The group offers its members the social push that we all almost desire in our everyday undertakings. But mostly, its accountability that the members in a way seek, by bearing it all to strangers on the group list, there is somehow a need to follow through-maybe to receive those kudos messages, which seemingly the other members are generous with.

Members in the group do not hold back, from sharing meal pictures, to recipes, exercise tips, before and after pictures, methods and even crash diets; to Apps downloaded from the Google Play Store which users claimed help them lose weight.

“Hey guys thanks for the add, so I have been using apps to try lose weight and lost 12kgs already, I was 80kg and now I am 68kg.Try get the noom app, it keeps track of your calorie intake, the cardio fitness app shows u how to do your exercises, and MMA Spartan system for the belly area,” one of the group users shared on the wall.

According to sciencedaily.com, research from the Arnold School of Health at the University of South Carolina, suggests that use of the social media site can be associated with a significant drop in kilograms, especially during the critical maintenance period of a weight loss journey, where support from the clinical staff decreases.

While the lead author of the survey, Sarah B Hales revealed that keeping people actively engaged in the online platforms was a challenge, she did acknowledge that people who were engaged with social media in their weight loss did well.

Also, researchers in London analysed 12 studies involving close to 1900 people in the US, Europe, East Asia and Australia and they found that those who used social networking sites lost modest but significant amounts of weight.



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