Dieting and the Web

March 9, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In public relations classes at Kent State University, we learn a lot about social media (obviously)—how to use it, how other people have used it, where it works and why it works. I’ve found using social media in a campaign really depends on who you are working for and what you’re trying to accomplish. With some clients (for example, ma and pa places), social media is probably useless, and in others it is absolutely critical. One area where I found that social media is working is in the dieting world.  

With the demise of dieting slogans and jingles such as “1-800-94-JENNY,” “TrimSpa Baby!,” and “Eat what you want and still lose weight—without exercising!” came the rise of a healthier dieting—Web 2.0 style. images.jpg Where did those “eat all you want and still look great” ads go?  Did people just catch on that yo-yo dieting was no solution to a healthy life—or did the industry realize that healthy lifestyles aren’t about getting skinny by unhealthy means? Whichever it is, companies are using this new lifestyle mentality to their advantage.  

The best example of an effective web dieting use is the National Body Challenge hosted by Discovery Health.

The National Body Challenge goes beyond offering tips for flat abs. It offers a community. (Ahhh–the blogging health-nut’s dream!) After signing up, visitors can: 

  • Customize their plan (to lose weight, maintain weight or lose weight)
  • Join the conversation
  • Read popular items
  • Write a blog
  • Set up a profile
  • Take surveys

  • Watch fitness shows
  • Get healthy recipes

People share their stories of success and frustration, and others in the community leave comments of support.

I am so impressed by Discovery Health’s community.

bodychallenge1.jpgLike the popular Facebook and MySpace, the National Body Challenge is all about the user. The community user creates a profile and customize a plan to fit his/her lifestyle. Being healthy isn’t about getting four weeks worth of over-priced, reduced calorie meals shipped to your house, or chugging Hollywood’s latest liquid diet. 

It’s about creating a plan that works for you. The National Body Challenge is all about the user, and that’s the way it should be.  Check out my classmate, Bill Burgess’ post on You Bar–another example of how the industry is making it all about YOU. Successful dieting includes customizing your plan to what fits your lifestyle. And the support of others makes it all that much easier…even if it’s someone you don’t even know.


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