It's good to share: Online diaries inspire healthy habits

Published 30 April, 2018
  • Online communities found to be “crucial” for successful weight loss
  • Men are more likely to share pictures of food online than women
  • Weight Watchers UK launches “#MyWWFlexDiary” series of online films


London (April 3, 2018) - New research out today finds that sharing what you do with an online community can help form heathy habits as one in five Brits (20 per cent) said they had more success with weight loss when they consciously shared a ‘diary’ of their daily lives with friends and followers. Motivation from positive feedback was named the top reason for sharing online as over half of Brits (57 per cent) revealed they draw enthusiasm to continue their journey from their online peers.

 Global wellness company, Weight Watchers, questioned 1,000 UK adults who have previously tried to adopt or are currently adopting healthy eating habits. 52 per cent said the support of a community was crucial when it came to forming healthy habits. Those who regularly shared aspects of their daily lives said it made them “more aware of the choices they were making” (29 per cent).

 In an effort to inspire people to share their own journeys, Weight Watchers UK has commissioned “#MyWWFlexDiary”, a series of online films with lifestyle influencers What Katy Said, Someone’s Mum and Amy Treasure that record one second of footage every day to show how simple and easy it is to form healthy habits that fit into everyday life. The films are being released to over 450,000 followers across Weight Watchers UK’s social media channels and demonstrate success every day.

 Over a third of respondents (38 per cent) said that following someone else’s online journey was “inspiring” and that sharing their own journey helped them identify the “triggers” of their unhealthy habits more easily (21 per cent). One in five (21 per cent) believe they benefited from a more “positive experience” by sharing their journey online and that it will have a “lasting, positive effect” on their health.

 The concept of an online community was found to encourage more awareness from those who used it, with a quarter (25 per cent) agreeing that sharing what they did, ate and felt in real-time helped them to form new habits, which became second nature. Learning something new provided an incentive to join these online communities as 53 per cent sourced “tips and tricks” from other users and 40 per cent discovered new healthy recipes to try.

 35 per cent of people questioned said they regularly post imagery of their food, while over a fifth (23 per cent) of 25-34-year olds admitted to sharing physical activity (gym workout, run, fitness class, etc.) online at least once a week with their social media communities. Surprisingly, men were more inclined to share photos of meals (29 per cent) online than women (24 per cent), a trend that was similarly reflected in sharing photos of cooking (31 per cent of men vs 26 per cent of women).

 Nearly half of respondents (48 per cent) said “knowing they were not alone” motivated them to stick to a healthy plan, and the idea of communal support resonated strongly with respondents as just under half (49 per cent) revealed they enjoyed having a network of people with “like-minded goals”.

 A study by Cornell University found that social support from online communities increased the probability of a user staying on track and contributed to successful weight loss. Of those surveyed by Weight Watchers UK, 29 per cent felt a positive impact from social sharing. A fifth (20 per cent) felt they were “giving back” to the community by inspiring others on the same journey through sharing their own everyday success.

 Claudia Nicholls, Marketing Director at Weight Watchers, comments: “The support of a community has always proved to be an effective way of forming and sustaining healthy habits, but with the explosion of online communities there has never been an easier or more affordable way to tap into the power of the crowd for support and inspiration.

 “Weight Watchers own social community for members, Connect, which sees over 14,000 daily posts in the UK alone, provides our members with instant access to a community of people who are on similar journeys to them. Bringing little rituals like posting pictures into our lives quickly creates habits that are hard to give up, which can have a life-changing impact, by helping to shape how we live, how we feel and, ultimately, who we become.”

 To watch the full series of online films, please visit


 For more information please contact the Weight Watchers UK press office at The Academy on 020 7100 7100 or

For more information on Weight Watchers UK visit:

 Top 5 Reasons To Share Your Weight Loss Journey Online:

  1. Motivation from positive feedback (likes, shares, etc.) – 57 per cent
  2. Network of people with similar goals – 49 per cent
  3. Knowing you are not alone – 48 per cent
  4. Helps to create a positive and lasting change – 29 per cent
  5. It can inspire you to adopt healthy habits – 25 per cent


Top 10 Regions For Sharing Pictures of Food:

  1. London – 46 per cent
  2. North West – 42 per cent
  3. Scotland – 39 per cent
  4. West Midlands – 35 per cent
  5. East Midlands – 34 per cent
  6. South East – 33 per cent
  7. South West – 33 per cent
  8. East – 32 per cent
  9. North East – 29 per cent
  10. Yorkshire and the Humber – 27 per cent


Research conducted by Fly, March 2018

Cornell University study conducted January 2017, report here

About Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers International, Inc. is one of the most recognized and trusted brand names among weight-conscious consumers. Weight Watchers provides commercial weight management services through a global network of Company-owned and franchise operations and offers innovative, digital weight management products through its websites, mobile sites and apps. These services and products are built on the Company's weight management programme, which helps millions of people around the world lose weight through sensible and sustainable food plans, activity, behavior modification and group support. Weight Watchers has an unparalleled network of Coaches to assist members on their journey and also offers a wide range of products, publications and programmes for those interested in weight loss and healthier living