Study: Texting Can Help You Lose Weight

Originally posted here, at Be Well Philly @ Philadelphia Magazine.

Cary Carr

This morning we warned you about “text neck.” Now, here’s some good news about texting: A recent study showed it can help college students lose weight.

Lead researcher Melissa Napolitano of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University recruited 52 overweight students—they weighed an average of 190 pounds—and broke them up into three groups.

Group one joined a private Facebook group and received advice on a variety of topics including portion control and physical activity, got group support from other members and viewed podcasts. Group two received the same advice, a book of calorie counts, and a text message reminder to send in calorie intake and exercise progress three days a week. On the other four days, they received texts with personalized advice and reminders. Group three was put on a waiting list and received no extra help.

So how did it all pan out? Group one lost an average of 1.4 pounds, group two, who received the most advice, lost an average of 5.3 pounds, and group three lost an average of just half a pound.

Maybe texting can’t completely replicate face-to-face contact with a healthcare professional, but it might be a great tool for busy students and professionals. Besides, who couldn’t benefit from a little SMS kick-in-the-pants every now and then?

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