Online social support for weight control and improved quality of life

Jei Fuu Chen, Ling Ling Wu, Seng Cho Chou, Chih Hung Chang

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has shown that physical (face-to-face) social support and online social support can have a positive influence on the health outcomes of participants in health intervention programs. However, little is known about how the two types of support work when they are provided simultaneously compared to when they are provided separately. In this study, the effects of both types of support are assessed simultaneously to compare their impacts on the health outcomes of participants in a health intervention program. It is hypothesized that online social support and physical social support could significantly affect the health outcomes and the quality of life of the participants. The quasi-experiment method was used to investigate the outcomes of a 10-week physician-supervised weight loss program. In total, 53 volunteers participated in the study; and their health outcomes were measured in terms of changes in their weight, body mass index and quality of life. The results partially support the hypotheses and show that both types of support work when they are provided separately or simultaneously which significantly improved the participants' weight and BMI loss and quality of life during the weight loss program. Furthermore, the results proof online social support could be an alternative to physical social support if users live in remote areas or have difficulty participating in the physical activities of a weight loss program. But the differences of both types of support provided simultaneously compare to both types of support provided separately were not significant.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event18th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2014 - Chengdu, China
Duration: Jun 24 2014Jun 28 2014

Conference

Conference18th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2014
CountryChina
CityChengdu
Period06/24/1406/28/14

Keywords

  • Body mass index
  • Health intervention program
  • Health outcomes
  • Quality of life
  • Social support
  • Weight loss program

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  • Cite this

    Chen, J. F., Wu, L. L., Chou, S. C., & Chang, C. H. (2014). Online social support for weight control and improved quality of life. Paper presented at 18th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2014, Chengdu, China.