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Article
Weight loss support seeking on twitter: the impact of weight on follow back rates and interactions
Psychiatry Publications and Presentations
  • Christine N. May, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Molly E. Waring, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Stephanie Rodrigues, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Jessica L. Oleski, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Effie Olendzki, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Martinus M. Evans, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Jennifer Carey, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Sherry L. Pagoto, University of Massachusetts Medical School
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventative and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Department of Psychiatry; Department of Emergency Medicine
Publication Date
3-1-2017
Document Type
Article
Abstract

People seek weight loss support on online social networks, but little is known about how to build a supportive community. We created four Twitter accounts portraying women interested in weight loss (two obese, two normal weight/overweight) and followed health care professional and peer accounts for 2-5 weeks. We examined follow back rates, interactions, and organic follows from professionals and peers by weight status. Follow back rates did not differ by weight status when following professionals (6.8 % normal weight/overweight vs 11.0 % for obese; p = 0.4167) or peers (6.7 % for normal weight/overweight vs 10.8 % for obese; p = 0.1548). Number of interactions and organic followers also did not differ by weight status. Peers interacted with study accounts significantly more than professionals (p = 0.0138), but interactions were infrequent. Women seeking weight loss support on Twitter may need to be present for more than 5 weeks to build an interactive weight loss community.

Keywords
  • UMCCTS funding,
  • Obesity,
  • Peer-to-peer healthcare,
  • Social media,
  • Twitter
DOI of Published Version
10.1007/s13142-016-0429-1
Source
Transl Behav Med. 2017 Mar;7(1):84-91. doi: 10.1007/s13142-016-0429-1. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
27443643
Citation Information
Christine N. May, Molly E. Waring, Stephanie Rodrigues, Jessica L. Oleski, et al.. "Weight loss support seeking on twitter: the impact of weight on follow back rates and interactions" Vol. 7 Iss. 1 (2017) ISSN: 1613-9860 (Linking)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sherry_pagoto/149/