The Checkup: Study Shows How to Use Twitter to Lose Weight

Keeping the Internet apprised of your weight-loss endeavors has its benefits, it seems.

• Okay, so it’s not quite as simple as sending a tweet and—poof!—a pound is gone. But in a recent study, researchers found that people who used the social networking site to post updates about their weight loss were able to shed more pounds than those who didn’t. A team at the University of South Carolina followed 96 obese or overweight men and women for six months. The volunteers, all of whom owned a smartphone or other mobile device (think: iPad), were divided into two groups: one which received bi-weekly health Podcasts, and one which received Podcasts and were asked to post Twitter updates about their weight loss. At the end of the study, the people in the latter group lost more weight—about half a pound more for every 10 Tweets. Why? The researchers say it has to do with the ongoing engagement—you know, the more you talk about your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. has more. (Psst! Follow Be Well Philly on Twitter here!)

• Speaking of Twitter, NPR has a story about what’s appropriate and what’s not when it comes to doctors sharing things on social media—you know, like pictures of a passed-out college who got drunk at the hospital holiday party.

• Have a food allergy? A seriously cool smartphone device could allow users to test food for allergens on the spot, ScienceDaily reports. So say goodbye to sneaky peanuts and gluten!