Virtual Reality: Could Technology Be Used To Fight Obesity?

First Posted: Feb 23, 2016 02:52 PM EST

Virtual reality may help in fighting obesity, according to recent findings published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

"Many chronic conditions are associated with a dysfunction of the stress system: obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes; hypertension; anxiety, depression, and insomnia; and pain syndromes. I am appreciative to the researchers and clinicians worldwide who are exploring innovative ways to utilize technology to provide more effective assessment and treatment methods to a greater number of individuals," said Dr. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium, in a news release.

According to the study authors, virtual reality may offer some promising new approaches that could assess and even treat those with some types of weight-related disorders. Furthermore, early applications reveal valuable information on the potential to combat image obesity in using virtual reality.

In this new text, researchers provide examples where this type of technology works to determine how people perceive their bodies, treat potential image disturbances participants might be dealing with and works to improve adherences to physical activity.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity section reveal that more than one-third (about 79 million U.S. adults) are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer--some of which are leading causes of preventable death.

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