According to a new study, social media may be used to fight the growing childhood obesity epidemic in our country. The scientific statement was published by a group of doctors within the American Heart Association. Our Brad Vivacqua reports.
UNITED STATES -- Social media is a big part of the Internet today. Believe it or not, 95 percent of all 12 to 17 year olds have Internet access at home or in school. At the same time, an alarming one in every three teens in our country is either overweight or obese.
A group of doctors with the AHA evaluated research on Internet based interventions to lose weight, increase physical activity, and improve eating habits. The doctors put together a scientific statement that suggests social media and online interaction may help create better habits.
For example, children and teens who are overweight can encourage one another online to eat more vegetables or join an exercise group.
Social media websites such as the American Heart Association’s Facebook page can help be a motivator as well.
"Social media provides a place for information, intervention, and support. That's one of the biggest things. Interaction between the kids and the group, and counselors, maybe doctors that get involved. That interaction provides maybe a self monitoring for the kids and support as well," said Kristy Smorol, American Heart Association Communications Director.
Remember, the American Heart Association recommends that kids and teens get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week.
The full scientific statement is published in the AHA's online journal "Circulation."
Parents, doctors, and counselors are also encouraged to get more involved to use social media to help children and teens overcome obesity.