Virtual reality avatars can help encourage women to lose weight, according to a study published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.
Researchers asked 128 women about their interest in using avatars—virtual representations of themselves—as tools to help them lose weight. According to the findings, nearly 90 percent of women asked expressed an interest in the technology.
The researchers then selected eight women to take part in the four-week avatar study. WTOP.com spoke to George Washington University's Melissa Napolitano, who served as lead author on the study.
Napolitano explained that the participants checked in once per week at a clinic. While there, each woman watched a 15-minute DVD that featured an avatar that looked like her.
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Each week, the avatar demonstrated a specific weight loss skill, from judging portion size to tackling mindless snacking, with narration provided by a dietitian.
"Their avatar went through a grocery store, snacked at a dinner