UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center; Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Communication | Health Psychology | Preventive Medicine | Social Media
Engagement in online social network-delivered weight loss interventions is a predictor of weight loss. Incentivizing engagement in a subset of participants may increase group engagement and subsequent weight loss. In a pilot feasibility trial, 56 adults with obesity were randomized to two Facebook-delivered weight loss interventions, one had 10% users incentivized to engage daily and the other did not. We compared conditions on engagement and weight loss, and then compared incentivized users and natural high engagers on weight loss. Participants were 46.3 (SD: 10.3) years and 89% female. The incentivized user condition had greater total engagement (p=0.0361), but weight loss did not differ (p=0.2096). Three natural superusers emerged in each condition. Natural superusers lost more weight than incentivized users (p=0.0358). Natural superusers’ posts elicited more comments than incentivized superusers (p=0.0107). Incentivized superusers may engage differently than natural superusers. Future studies should explore ways to promote engagement in online interventions.
social media, weight loss, online social networks, Facebook, engagement
DOI of Published Version
Pagoto S, Waring M, Olendzki E, Oleski J, May C, Evans M. The feasibility of incentivizing participation in an online social network weight loss program. Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. 2017. doi:10.24251/HICSS.2017.457. Link to article on conference website
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) 2017
Pagoto, Sherry L.; Waring, Molly E.; Olendzki, Effie; Oleski, Jessica L.; May, Christine N.; and Evans, Martinus M., "The Feasibility of Incentivizing Participation in an Online Social Network Weight Loss Program" (2017). UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center Publications. 70.
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