The use of technology to facilitate weight loss: Creating a healthy environment

Open Access
Dewar, Ryan Michael
Area of Honors:
Information Sciences and Technology
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • William Benjamin Gill, Thesis Supervisor
  • Carleen Frances Maitland, Honors Advisor
  • technology
  • recording devices
  • weight-loss
ABSTRACT Background: This study focuses on creating an applicable solution to obesity. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention releases an annual report that shows an exponential rise in the number of individuals in the United States that are considered to be obese. Many researchers believe that an individual’s health is a product of the geographical and behavioral environments that they live in. What is new to these studies is that through the use of the Internet an individual is no longer confined to one geographical location. Over the past decade virtual environments have been created that provide users access to the positive influences and support systems that may not exist in their physical environment. Results: The results of a classical comparative analysis identify a relationship between the qualities an individual needs to improve their physical health and behaviors which contribute to the motivational “pull” of massively multiplayer online role-playing games. The relationship that is shared by individuals participating in either a weight-loss campaign or online gaming is the motivation to participate in real-world and in-world character development. Conclusion: The use of a hybrid virtual environment that combines massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) with a Weight Loss Virtual Environment (WLVE) can promote motivation towards character development and provide a potential solution to obesity.