A good gym buddy is always hard to find, but luckily we have other options these days: social media.
A study from the University of South Carolina found that of overweight and obese subjects, men and women who actively tweeted tended to lose more weight than others who were not on a social media network.
The study divided 96 subjects into two groups for a six-month study; both groups received biweekly podcasts about nutrition, exercise, and goal-setting. The second group, however, downloaded a diet monitoring app and the Twitter app.
After six months, researchers found that those in the second group dropped more weight over the six-month period than the first group, as they actively posted to Twitter and got feedback from a weight-loss counselor and other participants through 140 characters.
"Traditional, behavioral weight-loss interventions generally provide social support through weekly, face-to-face group meetings. While we know this is effective, it is costly and can create a high degree of burden on participants," University of South Carolina's Brie Turner-McGrievy said.
The Twitterverse thus provides group support to dieters, allowing a low-cost and easy way to reach out for support, Turner-McGriey said. In fact, after some number crunching, the researchers found that every 10 tweets corresponded to a 0.5 percent in weight loss. But if you're planning on tweeting like a madman to lose some weight, let us know? We'd like to take you off our Twitter feed.