fishbat Says Social Media Could Shed Light On Obesity Rates

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In response to an article published by TIME Magazine, which discusses how scientists are using social media to track obesity trends, online marketing company fishbat affirms the importance of using social media as a health research tool.

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It’s important to look at the other ways social media could benefit the public.

On April 27, online marketing company fishbat discusses a new study, which uses social media to track national obesity trends.

According to an article published by TIME Magazine, researchers from the Boston Children’s Hospital found a way to track obesity trends through social media, more specifically, Facebook. The researchers used Facebook to geo-target trends in diet and exercise by compiling data from users’ interests.

Justin Maas, vice president of client relations at fishbat, says Facebook knows more about people than their own friends. “Facebook has a lot of personal data, which is why it’s so easy for marketing agencies and advertisers to track interests and personalize ads,” he says. “Depending on privacy settings, most people could find out where you’re from, where you work, what you like and who your friends are at the least. People that don’t have strict privacy settings also publicly display their interests.”

The article says the researchers found that lower obesity rates correlated with people who lead healthy, active lifestyles. For instance, people who had interests, such as sports, lived in an area with a lower obesity rate. People with interests that mostly related to television actually lived in a region with a higher obesity rate.

Maas says while Facebook is currently utilized as a tool for marketing and personal networking, it could also be a good source for tracking health issues. “If doctors and researchers can pinpoint areas that have a high obesity rate, lawmakers or health advocates could concentrate their efforts on those areas instead of wasting resources targeting areas that don’t necessarily need assistance,” he says. “It’s important to look at the other ways social media could benefit the public. It’s more than just a source for entertainment. I’m excited to see where people take this and if they continue to expand research through social media for other health issues.”

fishbat, Inc. is a full service online marketing company. Through social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), web design, and public relations, fishbat strives as a marketing firm to raise awareness about your brand and strengthen your corporate image.

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