I’ve been increasingly interested in health-focused social networks. Why? Because several recent scientific studies have found that real-life social networks are quite relevant to health. Indeed, a study published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine evaluated a large social network of over 12,000 people over 32 years to assess the person-to-person spread of obesity . The study results suggest that friends, siblings and spouses have an even greater effect on a person’s risk of obesity than genetics.
What’s interesting is that this type of research is being done now, when the use of web 2.0 services facilitating collaboration and sharing between users on the internet is thriving. We’re witnessing an explosion of social networking sites, many of which are focused on health.