Weight Loss Support: Can Email Help Your Health? (cont.)

It's important to remember that you need more than just e-support, experts say.

Online coaching and counseling is "a terrific tool for staying connected," says Moores, "as long as you keep that human element to it. There's a lot of power in person-to-person contact."

Carmel does turn to her real-life friends and family when she needs help keeping her diet and exercise on track. But she also relies on her "e-family."

"With the newsletters, the 'Words to Lose By,' and the Weight Loss Clinic message boards, I have another family that helps me through the ups and downs," says Carmel. "I read the newsletters every Tuesday when they come out, and I read the 'Words to Lose by' every day, and I read the message boards a lot, too. They really are a huge help, and they really help keep me motivated."

SOURCES: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2002; vol 23 (2 suppl). American Journal of Health Promotion, 2005; vol 19. Leah Carmel, WebMD Weight Loss Clinic member, Beltsville, Md. Susan Moores, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association, St. Paul, Minn. Rick Hall, MS, RD, faculty member, Arizona State University; advisory board member, Arizona Governor's Council on Health, Physical Fitness, and Sports, Phoenix.

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Last Editorial Review: 8/22/2005 4:01:50 PM