Smartphones and social media can help build healthy habits
Smartphones and social media can help students make healthier choices about food and physical activity, said Kendra Katelman, professor of health sciences and nutrition and director of the South Dakota State University dietetics program.
Katelman and her colleagues have identified key challenges that face 18- to 24-year-olds who move from home and have the independence to manage their time and deal with learning, relationships and living circumstances.
The participants in the program were divided into two groups - a test group and a control group. The test group received lessons in nutrition, training and stress management for a period of 10 weeks. During this period, short videos were sent by email 4 times a week to remind participants of their goals and their behaviors. For the next 10 months after the end of the lessons, such a video was sent once a week.
The results show that students improved their eating and training habits. "In a world where we have decreased activities levels due to technology plus easy access to pre-prepared food, young people will have to make mindful choices to prevent obesity-related illnesses." said Katelman and continued: "Developing behaviors for meal preparation, snack preparation and food choices doesn't come easy unless it's a habit."
One of the main advantages of My Body Creator is exactly the establishment of proper nutrition and exercise habits. This is facilitated by the constant notifications about upcoming meals, trainings or fluid intake, as well as specific proposals with the possibility of replacement with appropriate alternatives.
South Dakota State University. "Smart phones, social media encourage healthy habits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 January 2015.