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Low carbohydrate diets in family practice: what can we learn from an internet-based support group

Overview of attention for article published in Nutrition Journal, October 2006
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
1 blog
1 tweeter


37 Dimensions

Readers on

100 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
1 Connotea
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Low carbohydrate diets in family practice: what can we learn from an internet-based support group
Published in
Nutrition Journal, October 2006
DOI 10.1186/1475-2891-5-26
Pubmed ID

Richard D Feinman, Mary C Vernon, Eric C Westman


The Active Low-Carber Forums (ALCF) is an on-line support group started in 2000 which currently has more than 86,000 members. Data collected from posts to the forum and from an on-line survey were used to determine the behavior and attitudes of people on low carbohydrate diets. Members were asked to complete a voluntary 27-item questionnaire over the internet. Our major findings are as follows: survey respondents, like the membership at large, were mostly women and mostly significantly overweight, a significant number intending to and, in many cases, succeeding at losing more than 100 lbs. The great majority of members of ALCF identify themselves as following the Atkins diet or some variation of it. Although individual posts on the forum and in the narrative part of our survey are critical of professional help, we found that more than half of respondents saw a physician before or during dieting and, of those who did, about half received support from the physician. Another 28 % found the physician initially neutral but supportive after positive results were produced. Using the same criteria as the National Weight Registry (without follow-up)--30 lbs or more lost and maintained for more than one year--it was found that more than 1400 people had successfully used low carb methods. In terms of food consumed, the perception of more than half of respondents were that they ate less than before the diet and whereas high protein, high fat sources replaced carbohydrate to some extent, the major change indicated by survey-takers is a large increase in green vegetables and a large decrease in fruit intake. Government or health agencies were not sources of information for dieters in this group and a collection of narrative comments indicates a high level of satisfaction, indeed enthusiasm for low carbohydrate dieting. The results provide both a tabulation of the perceived behavior of a significant number of dieters using low carbohydrate strategies as well as a collection of narratives that provide a human perspective on what it is like to be on such a diet. An important conclusion for the family physician is that it becomes possible to identify a diet that is used by many people where the primary principle is replacement of starch and sugar-containing foods with non-starchy vegetables, with little addition of fat or protein. Used by many people who identify themselves as being on the Atkins diet, such a strategy provides the advantages of carbohydrate-restricted diets but is less iconoclastic than the popular perception and therefore more acceptable to traditional nutritionists. It is reasonable for family practitioners to turn this observation into a recommendation for patients for weight control and other health problems.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 100 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 2%
United Kingdom 1 1%
Luxembourg 1 1%
Australia 1 1%
Unknown 95 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 24 24%
Student > Bachelor 18 18%
Unspecified 9 9%
Researcher 8 8%
Other 7 7%
Other 23 23%
Unknown 11 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 29 29%
Nursing and Health Professions 10 10%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 9 9%
Unspecified 9 9%
Sports and Recreations 6 6%
Other 25 25%
Unknown 12 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 15. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 13 June 2019.
All research outputs
of 15,241,149 outputs
Outputs from Nutrition Journal
of 1,160 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 154,220 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nutrition Journal
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,241,149 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,160 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 29.7. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 67% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 154,220 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them