Can Facebook be Used to Predict and Fight Obesity?

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Have you ever wondered, if the things people "like" on Facebook actually reflect their interests? What if your Facebook friends are feigning interests to look cool?

A new study might put your suspicions to rest. The study finds that people’s likes on Facebook tend to reflect their real-world practices, at least when it comes to fitness and wellness.

The study focuses on obesity, and the authors say that Facebook likes are good indicators of a neighborhood’s obesity levels.

Rumi Chunara, an author of the study, and an instructor at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital explains her findings.



Dr. Rumi Chunara

Produced by:

Tyler Adams

Comments [2]

Jerrold Richards from Lyle, Washington

Well, that was sure my dose of perky for the month.

OK, OK, I'm being too snarky. Under that grating arrested-development tone of voice I sensed considerable competence and effectiveness. And that tone probably correlates with nervousness. I'd probably sound terrible if I were being interviewed. But still, it was quite a dose of perky. My guess is she does well at pretty much whatever she sets her mind to. If she were to decide to do the necessary ongoing work to lower and slow down her voice, in particular in stressful situations, she'd feel better, I think. And likely at this point in her career it would be a good career move. Some women think they need to use kiddie voice to cover their competence in hostile environments, but I would say she is well past that necessity, if ever she thought she was in such necessity previously. Myabe this is a stereotype, but it seems to me French women set the standard for adult women voices combined quite well with career success.

May. 02 2013 01:45 PM

It should be noted that Facebook filters out some types of people. As somebody who hates Facebook with a passion I hope it filters out a lot of people, but its possible it just filters out old fuddy-duddies like me. In any case if people are going to start doing lots of research of Facebook data there needs to be some high-quality studies on the differences between people who use Facebook and those who don't.

May. 02 2013 01:36 PM

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