Washington, Feb. 10 ANI | 9 months ago

Researchers, set up an interactive website to gather information about childhood predictors of adult body mass index (BMI) from the general public.

The scientists discovered that "crowdsourcing" - everyday people asking and answering questions of each other - could zero-in on predictors of obesity.

More interesting, the website visitors discovered some intriguing connections that experts hadn't considered.

Josh Bongard, a UVM computer scientist and co-author on the new study, said that obesity is a very well-investigated subject and yet the public was able to find new angles.

He said that the non-expert might trigger the expert to think along a different line that they haven't tried before, asserting that they're democratizing investigation here.

Over a two-week period, 532 adults from various English-speaking countries visited the website and supplied their height and weight to determine their BMI.

Paul Hines, a co-author and professor in UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, said that the most highly correlated question was: did your parents encourage you to clean your plate?, asserting that if their parents forced them to eat everything on their plate as a child, then they're more likely to be overweight as an adult.

The study has been published in PLOS ONE.

(Posted on 10-02-2014)

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