While various psychological conditions that affect the health of a growing child are assigned to computers and video games, a new role by Virtual Assistant has been identified by Philadelphian researchers from Temple University Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE). The research team announces that the findings of the study point out to the fact that using a virtual model could motivate a person to work towards healthy weight loss.

The research team led by Melissa Napolitano surveyed 128 overweight women. Most of these participants had attempted at weight reduction the past year but not taken part in any virtual reality game in the process of weight reduction. But for a few participants, none had experience with virtual reality or video games. However, 88 percent of the women participants showed interest to use avatar models to help in weight reduction programme.

The research team registered eight of the participants in a DVD course that lasted four weeks during which they watched a digital model of themselves on the screen. The avatar models were tools to guide the women to learn about diet and exercise habits to keep weight under control. The eight participants had to travel to the clinic once every week to watch the 15-minute long virtual reality program.

The virtual model was effective in guiding the participants to set weight loss goals. It was instrumental in making the participants design a program that is practical, effective and tailor made to suit their individual needs. Napolitano and the team are excited that even those who are not used to playing video games showed interest in avatar-based technology to help with their weight check, which could lead to using the technology to its potential.

When further studies confirm the findings of this research, there will be a fresh face to Virtual Reality, as it will be encouraging and assisting people to live healthily. 

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