Pagoto reports ‘tweet-sized’ weight counseling results on WCVB-TV

By Lisa M. Larson

UMass Medical School Communications

May 06, 2014

“Tweet-sized” weight loss advice helped a dozen people lose an average of 8 pounds over 12 weeks in a study lead by clinical psychologist Sherry Pagoto, PhD, in which counselors delivered their support via Twitter, according to a segment on WCVB TV.

“There are all these patient communities on Twitter, where people are tweeting about their weight loss. They’re tweeting about their diabetes,” said Dr. Pagoto, associate professor of medicine, in the May 5 broadcast. “If patients are using social media to change their health behavior, maybe clinicians need to.”

In the study, two clinicians tweeted links to professionally written blog posts describing behavioral weight loss strategies, weight loss success stories and healthy recipes and exercise plans to the group of patients. They also gave advice, positive reinforcement, encouragement and questions to individual patients or the group.

Participant Leslie Kozloski lost 25 pounds, and credits the continual support from the clinicians and other dieters in the study, she said.

“You kind of get that motivation from others saying, ‘You can do this. You can do this,’ all the time,” said Kozloski.

Watch the full story below:
WCVB TV: Bite-sized tweets effective new weight loss weapon

Related links on UMassMedNow:
Newsmaker: Fad Diets Will Seem Even Crazier After You See This
Pagoto calls for end of ‘diet debate’ in JAMA
Pagoto explains obesity as a disease on boston.com
‘Be Active’ study: Participant says program helped her make healthier menu choices
Weight loss counseling lifts depression in new UMMS study
Pagoto: Three tips for sticking to those 2013 resolutions