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Social media use for nutrition outcomes in young adults: a mixed-methods systematic review

Overview of attention for article published in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, July 2018
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  • 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 blog
31 tweeters


73 Dimensions

Readers on

449 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
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Social media use for nutrition outcomes in young adults: a mixed-methods systematic review
Published in
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, July 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12966-018-0696-y
Pubmed ID

Karen M. Klassen, Caitlin H. Douglass, Linda Brennan, Helen Truby, Megan S. C. Lim


Social media has been widely adopted by young adults, consequently health researchers are looking for ways to leverage this engagement with social media for the delivery of interventions and health promotion campaigns. Weight gain and sub-optimal dietary choices are common in young adults, and social media may be a potential tool to facilitate and support healthier choices. We conducted a mixed-methods systematic review of studies examining social media use for nutrition-related outcomes in young adults. Seven databases [EBscohost, ERIC, ProQuest Central, PubMed, Ovid, Scopus, and Emerald] were systematically searched; 1225 abstracts were screened, and 47 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility. Study designs included both quantitative, such as experimental and observational studies, and qualitative, such as focus groups and interviews, approaches. Quality was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Quantitative and qualitative results were examined separately, and then synthesized. Twenty-one studies were included although their use of social media was highly variable. The main purpose of social media was to provide information and social support to participants. In the nine randomized controlled trials, social media was used as one aspect of a multi-faceted intervention. Interventions had a positive statistically significant impact on nutritional outcomes in 1/9 trials. Engagement with the social media component of interventions varied, from 3 to 69%. Young adults appear to be open to receiving healthy eating and recipe tips through social media, however, they are reluctant to share personal weight-related information on their online social networks. Information-dissemination is now an acceptable use of social media by young adults. Using social media effectively for social support, either via private groups or public pages, requires careful evaluation as its effectiveness is yet to be demonstrated in experimental designs. Concerns about public social media use may be a contributing factor to poor engagement with social media in research intervention studies aimed at influencing weight. Future research should consider how to best engage with young adults using social media, how to more effectively use social media to support young adults and to facilitate social and peer-to-peer support in making healthier choices.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 31 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 449 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 449 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 84 19%
Student > Master 57 13%
Student > Ph. D. Student 35 8%
Researcher 23 5%
Lecturer 17 4%
Other 62 14%
Unknown 171 38%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Nursing and Health Professions 80 18%
Medicine and Dentistry 50 11%
Social Sciences 27 6%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 19 4%
Psychology 16 4%
Other 70 16%
Unknown 187 42%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 26. 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 22 April 2020.
All research outputs
of 20,265,753 outputs
Outputs from International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
of 1,793 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 296,341 outputs
Outputs of similar age from International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 20,265,753 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,793 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 27.0. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 74% 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 296,341 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