A warm welcome matters! The Link Between Social Feedback and Weight Loss in /r/loseit

Tiago O. Cunha, Ingmar Weber, Gisele L. Pappa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Social feedback has long been recognized as an important element of successful health-related behavior change. However, most of the existing studies look at the effect that offline social feedback has. This paper fills gaps in the literature by proposing a framework to study the causal effect that receiving social support in the form of comments in an online weight loss community has on (i) the probability of the user to return to the forum, and, more importantly, on (ii) the weight loss reported by the user. Using a matching approach for causal inference we observe a difference of 9 lbs lost between users who do or do not receive comments. Surprisingly, this effect is mediated by neither an increase in lifetime in the community nor by an increased activity level of the user. Our results show the importance that a “warm welcome” has when using online support forums to achieve health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication26th International World Wide Web Conference 2017, WWW 2017 Companion
PublisherInternational World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee
Pages1063-1072
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349147
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event26th International World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2017 Companion - Perth, Australia
Duration: 3 Apr 20177 Apr 2017

Other

Other26th International World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2017 Companion
CountryAustralia
CityPerth
Period3/4/177/4/17

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Health
Feedback

Keywords

  • Causal inference
  • Mediation analysis
  • Obesity
  • Reddit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Cunha, T. O., Weber, I., & Pappa, G. L. (2019). A warm welcome matters! The Link Between Social Feedback and Weight Loss in /r/loseit. In 26th International World Wide Web Conference 2017, WWW 2017 Companion (pp. 1063-1072). International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee. https://doi.org/10.1145/3041021.3055131

A warm welcome matters! The Link Between Social Feedback and Weight Loss in /r/loseit. / Cunha, Tiago O.; Weber, Ingmar; Pappa, Gisele L.

26th International World Wide Web Conference 2017, WWW 2017 Companion. International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee, 2019. p. 1063-1072.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Cunha, TO, Weber, I & Pappa, GL 2019, A warm welcome matters! The Link Between Social Feedback and Weight Loss in /r/loseit. in 26th International World Wide Web Conference 2017, WWW 2017 Companion. International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee, pp. 1063-1072, 26th International World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2017 Companion, Perth, Australia, 3/4/17. https://doi.org/10.1145/3041021.3055131
Cunha TO, Weber I, Pappa GL. A warm welcome matters! The Link Between Social Feedback and Weight Loss in /r/loseit. In 26th International World Wide Web Conference 2017, WWW 2017 Companion. International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee. 2019. p. 1063-1072 https://doi.org/10.1145/3041021.3055131
Cunha, Tiago O. ; Weber, Ingmar ; Pappa, Gisele L. / A warm welcome matters! The Link Between Social Feedback and Weight Loss in /r/loseit. 26th International World Wide Web Conference 2017, WWW 2017 Companion. International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee, 2019. pp. 1063-1072
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