Dieters Use Internet for Weight-Loss Help
Dieters are using weight-loss Web sites as a tool to find support and stay motivated 24 hours a day, the Wall Street Journal Online reports. Internet support groups can provide dieters with a sense of control and encouragement that they sometimes cannot get from books, group meetings or nutritionists, according to the Journal. Weight-loss sites feature message boards that cater to specific diets. For example, EDiets features about 100 different bulletin boards, including those on the Atkins or the Zone diet, while iVillage has about 70 message boards and WeightWatchers.com has about 30 different message boards. "Every person needs her own recipe for weight loss," Dawn Jackson, a dietitian at Northwestern Memorial Wellness Institute in Chicago said, adding, "Whether it's weekly weigh-ins, keeping food logs or checking in with an Internet program, staying conscious and accountable is a key component." A 2001 study conducted by researchers from Brown University found that people who used Internet tools such as food journals and message boards in addition to their normal weight-loss programs lost three times as much weight in a six-month period as those who used traditional tools alone, according to the Journal. A follow-up study found that regular e-mail consultations with a dietitian, in combination with a standard Internet weight-loss program, helped people lose twice as much weight as those who just used the Internet program (Forster, Wall Street Journal Online, 6/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.