While people all over the world are going crazy to get an attractive body and making hard and fast rules and tremendous commitments in order to achieve the same, the latest study led by the University of California, Irvine claims that if people keep posting their weight loss goals on social networking sites, it will be much easier for them to reduce those extra inches around their waist.
The study titled 'Weight Loss Through Virtual Support Communities: A Role for Identity-based Motivation in Public Commitment,' examined the role of virtual communities and public commitment to reach the weight loss goals.
Talking about their latest findings Tonya Williams Bradford, a study co-author said, "Our research finds that individuals are more likely to realise success with personal goals when they make a public commitment to attaining them."
According to ScienceDaily, researchers followed two weight loss groups, surgical and non-surgical, over a period of four years. Members of both weight loss groups utilised virtual support communities, like ObesityHelp.com and WeightWatchers.com, as part of their programs.
"Through our research we found public commitment, which is a declaration of a position, increases the likelihood of compliance to a course of action and is a key part of a successful weight loss plan," Bradford was quoted while talking about the same.
"When people seeking to lose weight join a virtual support community and share their plans online to attain their goals, they invite members to join them by offering encouragement in both words and actions. This exchange of online support facilitates adherence to the offline goal of losing weight. Public accountability is key," Bradford added further.
The study also found that virtual support communities offer a unique environment that allows members relative anonymity, accessibility, availability and flexibility in how they represent themselves on their journeys.
According to Bradford, it is the process of building community, and the co-creation of related outcomes that helps in keeping participants motivated and accountable.
The research has recently been appeared in the Journal of Interactive Marketing.
(With Ani inputs)