Facebook and ilk ‘are healthy for teens’

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A STUDY led by Queen’s University Belfast has found social media messaging has a significant positive effect on the health of teenagers.

The study of social media messaging, such as Facebook posts and sponsored ads, found that educating teenagers to spread health messages to their peer groups could help other young people to address health issues such as substance abuse, an unhealthy diet and smoking.

educating teenagers to spread health messages to their peer groups could help other young people

Dr Ruth Hunter, from the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s and lead author on the paper, said: “Humans are embedded in social networks and these networks obey very particular rules – mathematical, biological, sociological, and psychological.

“If we can understand these rules they give us whole new ways of intervening for the better.”

Dr Hunter said the aim of their research was to understand how best we could use social networks to encourage us to be healthier.

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