Dishing Diets on Facebook

Dieters use peer pressure to keep themselves on track

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    Increasing numbers of dieters are posting online food diaries to social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

    If all of your friends and family got a peek into your daily diet, would you make healthier choices?

    Increasing numbers of dieters are posting online food diaries to social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Eva Parks, a Dallas woman, utilizes a food fan page on Facebook to take her diet a step further.

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    "I started it as a joke -- 'What's Eva Eating?' -- and in the last three weeks, I've had 91 fans," she said.

    Tweet What You Eat, a Twitter-based service, even uses a calorie database of user-submitted counts that can fill in calorie counts every time a user enters what he or she has eaten.

    Parks works out four to five days a week and watches what she eats Monday through Friday.

    "Like most people, I struggle with weight, and several years ago, I lost 25 pounds," she said. "For me, it wasn't taking the weight off -- that was the easy part -- it's maintaining the weight."

    Diet specialists say the trend is a smart way to get community support.

    "I think it's a great idea, because it will make you be more honest with what you're doing, because everyone out there will know what you're doing,” said Leah McCann, of the Barker Bariatric Center.

    And Parker's friends are not afraid to post comments. She said she felt the peer pressure as she sat down for a meal at Mi Cocina.

    "I took the picture and actually felt a little guilty, so I only tried a little of each," she said.