Podcasts May Not Make You Rich, But They May Make You SkinnySep 28th, 2009 | By James Lewin | Category: Audio Podcasting, General, Podcasting
Podcasts may not make you rich, but they may make you skinny.
In a recent study, researchers found that people that listened to a diet podcast based on social cognitive science lost 9 times as much weight as people listened to a regular diet podcast.
The study, Pounds Off Digitally (POD) Study: A Randomized Podcasting Weight Loss Intervention, was published online on Sept. 15 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The study involved a 12-week randomized controlled trial of 78 overweight men and women (body mass index, or BMI, of 25 points to 40 points) in the Raleigh-Durham area. Participants in a control group listened to 24 episodes of a currently available weight-loss podcast, while another group listened to an enhanced podcast, designed using behavior change theories. The enhanced podcast used tenets of social cognitive theory – including that behavior change is based upon an individualâ€™s expectancy (how much they would value an end result) and expectation (whether they believe they will succeed or fail).
Study participants who used the enhanced podcast experienced a significantly greater decrease in both weight and BMI than the control group. The enhanced group lost 6.4 pounds in 12 weeks, compared to 0.7 pounds in the control group, and dropped one point in BMI, compared to a 0.1 point drop in the control group.
Researchers hope to do additional studies to determine if podcasts can be used long-term to help people keep off weight, and whether podcasts targeted directly to people’s habits and needs are more effective.
This is fascinating research: it shows how useful podcasts can be as dieting tool, but also suggests that current weight-loss podcasts may not be nearly as effective as they could be.