According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has more then tripled in the past 30 years. In 2008 nearly 20 percent of children in the U.S. between the ages of 6 and 11 were categorized as overweight. Eighteen percent were categorized as obese between the ages of 12 and 19 – a major problem.

social media helping fight childhood obesityThe American Heart Association, though, recently said that online communication and social media can promote healthy behavioral changes to young people who are dealing with these issues.

Many studies now suggest that there is a much greater success rate in battling this issue beyond traditional methods – such increased parental involvement and more interaction with counselors – and using online intervention and exposure.

About 95 percent of 12- to 17-year-old children have Internet access at home and/or in school. With this type of access, many experts believe online social network health interventions can be an effective way to prevent or manage excessive weight. The theory is that people with similar traits stick together, both online and in the real world. They can also be influenced by their peers. If one person starts making healthy lifestyle changes, there’s a good chance others will be influenced to do so, too. Just like all social media, the viral factor can play a huge part on making things happen quickly.