Medical Breakthroughs Reported by Ivanhoe.com. Click here to go to the homepage.
Be the First to Know. Click here to subscribe FREE!
Search Reports: Use quotation marks around your multi-word search terms in the box below to perform search of Ivanhoe.com.
Advances in health and medicine.Use " marks around search terms
 
What's New
News Flash
Discussion
healthchannelnews
  Alternative Health
Arthritis
Asthma & Allergies
Autism
Breast Cancer
Cancer
Cardiovascular Health
Children's Health
Dental Health
Diabetes
Fertility & Pregnancy
Men's Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis
Neurological Disorders
Nutrition & Wellness
Orthopedics
Pet Health
Robotics
Seniors' Health
Sports Medicine
Vision
Women's Health
Advances in health and medicine.
Click here to sign up for Medical Alerts!
Click below to access other news from Ivanhoe Broadcast News.
  Click here to get Ivanhoe's Medical Headline RSS feed Click here to listen to Ivanhoe's Medical Podcasts
Useful Links
Play It Again, Please
E-Mail a Friend
Order Books Online
Inside Science
Smart Woman
Advances in health and medicine.
Smart Woman Home
Click here to read the story
Click here to read the story
Click here to read the story
Smart Woman Home
Advances in health and medicine.
Click below to learn about Ivanhoe.
  Awards
About Us
Contact Us
Employment
Feedback
Ivanhoe FAQ
Our TV Partners
Travel Calendar
Advances in health and medicine.
Ivanhoe celebrates 20 years of medical news reporting reaching nearly 80 million TV households each week. Click here to learn more...
Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Publisher/President
Advances in health and medicine.
Advertisement
Children's Health Channel
Reported December 7, 2012

Social Media Helps Childhood Obesity


(Ivanhoe Newswire) – If your child spends a lot of time chatting on Facebook or tweeting on Twitter, it may be a good thing. Social media could be an effective tool in helping children overcome obesity, according to an American Heart Association statement published online in the association’s journal Circulation.

About 95 percent of children ages 12 to 17 have Internet access, so online social network health interventions should be explored to prevent or manage excessive weight, said Jennifer S. Li, M.D., M.H.S. and chair of the writing group.

"Healthcare providers should embrace its potential as a tool for promoting healthy behavioral change." The writing group evaluated research on Internet-based interventions to lose weight, increase physical activity and improve eating habits, according to the statement.

"The studies we looked at suggest that more parental involvement and more interaction with counselors and peers was associated with greater success rates for overweight children and teens who participated in an online intervention," said Li, who is also division chief of pediatric cardiology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

Variables that influenced success were whether the rest of the family was involved in the intervention, the degree of back-and-forth communication and feedback with a counselor or support group, and the frequency with which kids and adolescents logged on and used the programs.

People who are overweight or obese tend to share a home or spend their leisure time with others who are overweight or obese, according to research.

"Athletes tend to hang out with athletes, and overweight kids hang out together so they reinforce each other's eating habits or preferences for recreational activities," Li said.

"Some research shows that even in virtual social networks, people tend to associate with others like themselves," Li said. "So if you develop a network of kids who are overweight, you can have an impact on all of them — in the real world and online — because if one starts making healthy changes, the others will be influenced to do so as well."

However, there are some dangers in using social media, according to the statement, and they include exposure to cyber bullying, privacy issues, sexting and Internet addiction that can cause sleep deprivation, Li said.

"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," Li said.

The authors recommend policy makers focus on privacy protection and monitor outcomes in order to harness the strength of a health promotion social network that initiates and sustains behavior changes such self-monitoring, goal-setting and problem-solving.

"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," Li said.

According to the statement, more research is needed to provide data on overweight and obese adolescents to determine whether differences in gender, ethnicity, geographic location and socioeconomic status affect social-media use and technology-based interventions.

SOURCE: American Heart Association: Circulation, December 2012

Want to be the FIRST TO KNOW?

Click Here for a free weekly email with Ivanhoe's latest Medical Breakthroughs.

Related Articles in Latest Medical News:

[ Back to Children's Health Channel Home ]

MEDICAL ALERT!
Stay up to date on Children's Health. We can notify you every time there is a medical breakthrough. Click here to sign up.
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Advertisement

Follow Us On:

Click here to go to Ivanhoe's Twitter page Click here to go to Ivanhoe's Facebook page Click here to go to Ivanhoe's YouTube page

Laughter is the Best Medicine! To post a joke or saying, click here!

Home | What's New | News Flash | Search/Latest Medical News | E-Mail Medical Alerts!
Ivanhoe FAQ | Privacy Policy | Our TV Partners | Awards | Useful Links | Play It Again, Please
RSS Feeds | Advertising/Sponsorships | Content Syndication | Reprints

Advances in health and medicine.
webdoctor@ivanhoe.com
Copyright © 2014 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789

P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802

Premium Content in Latest Medical News Denotes Premium Content in Latest Medical News