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Social media intervention may help combat obesity in children

The Association suggested that social media programs that encourage children to lose weight and get exercise may eventually become a tool in fighting child obesity.

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Social media could be used to help children lose weight said the American Heart Association. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The American Heart Association said that intervention using social media into children's health care may help reduce obesity.

The Association suggested that social media programs that encourage children to lose weight and get exercise may eventually become a tool in fighting child obesity.

The group hopes that doctors become better aware of the tools that children are increasingly using in everyday life.

"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," study author Jennifer Li, of Duke University, said in the report.

The work is currently limited but an initial report has shown strong links between the use of social media and preventative health behavior, said ABC News.

Social media could be an effective tool given its reach.

It is estimated that 95 percent of teens in the US are active in some form of social media.

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The researchers stressed that further work needs to be done to better understand the effectiveness of social media intervention.

"Future work should address whether engagement within a social network either increases the effectiveness of these interventions or promotes greater sustainability," said Li in the report.

The study was published in the journal Circulation.

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/121207/social-media-intervention-may-help-combat-obesity-children