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Could Facebook Assist Public Health Efforts to Track Obesity?
Date:4/26/2013

ighborhood with the lowest percentage (Greenpoint, in Brooklyn).

"Online social networks like Facebook represent a new high-value, low-cost data stream for looking at health at a population level," study co-leader John Brownstein, who runs the computational epidemiology group at Boston Children's Hospital's informatics program, said in a hospital news release.

"The tight correlation between Facebook users' interests and obesity data suggest that this kind of social-network analysis could help generate real-time estimates of obesity levels in an area, help target public health campaigns that would promote healthy behavior change and assess the success of those campaigns," he said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Boston Children's Hospital, news release, April 24, 2013


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