Studies have shown social support can promote weight loss, specifically when support is received online through forums on weight loss websites. The goal of this study was to explore the experiences of individuals using support forums on weight loss websites. We conducted a content analysis on web-administered survey responses from members of two weight loss websites (N = 340). The findings revealed three major themes: (1) receiving advice, strategies, and mantras are helpful with weight loss; (2) support forums provide a nonjudgmental environment for losing weight; and (3) receiving social support and inspiration from someone similar is helpful with weight loss. These findings suggest online support forums can benefit individuals attempting to lose weight by offering a place to receive nonjudgmental social support from other similar users.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health