Information sources and needs in the obesity and diabetes twitter discourse

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

Abstract

Obesity and diabetes epidemics are affecting about a third and tenth of US population, respectively, capturing the attention of the nation and its institutions. Social media provides an open forum for communication between individuals and health organizations, a forum which is easily joined by parties seeking to gain profit from it. In this paper we examine 1.5 million tweets mentioning obesity and diabetes in order to assess (1) the quality of information circulating in this conversation, as well as (2) the behavior and information needs of the users engaged in it. The analysis of top cited domains shows a strong presence of health information sources which are not affiliated with a governmental or academic institution at 41% in obesity and 50% diabetes samples, and that tweets containing these domains are retweeted more than those containing domains of reputable sources. On the user side, we estimate over a quarter of non-informational obesity discourse to contain fat-shaming – a practice of humiliating and criticizing overweight individuals – with some self-directed toward the writers themselves. We also find a great diversity in questions asked in these datasets, spanning definition of obesity as a disease, social norms, and governmental policies. Our results indicate a need for addressing the quality control of health information on social media, as well as a need to engage in a topically diverse, psychologically charged discourse around these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDH 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Digital Health
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages21-29
Number of pages9
Volume2018-April
ISBN (Electronic)9781450364935
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2018
Event8th International Conference on Digital Health, DH 2018 - Lyon, France
Duration: 23 Apr 201826 Apr 2018

Other

Other8th International Conference on Digital Health, DH 2018
CountryFrance
CityLyon
Period23/4/1826/4/18

Fingerprint

Medical problems
Health
Oils and fats
Quality control
Profitability
Communication

Keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Information need
  • Misinformation
  • Obesity
  • Social media
  • Twitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Software

Cite this

Mejova, Y. (2018). Information sources and needs in the obesity and diabetes twitter discourse. In DH 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Digital Health (Vol. 2018-April, pp. 21-29). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3194658.3194664

Information sources and needs in the obesity and diabetes twitter discourse. / Mejova, Yelena.

DH 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Digital Health. Vol. 2018-April Association for Computing Machinery, 2018. p. 21-29.

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

Mejova, Y 2018, Information sources and needs in the obesity and diabetes twitter discourse. in DH 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Digital Health. vol. 2018-April, Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 21-29, 8th International Conference on Digital Health, DH 2018, Lyon, France, 23/4/18. https://doi.org/10.1145/3194658.3194664
Mejova Y. Information sources and needs in the obesity and diabetes twitter discourse. In DH 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Digital Health. Vol. 2018-April. Association for Computing Machinery. 2018. p. 21-29 https://doi.org/10.1145/3194658.3194664
Mejova, Yelena. / Information sources and needs in the obesity and diabetes twitter discourse. DH 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Digital Health. Vol. 2018-April Association for Computing Machinery, 2018. pp. 21-29
@inproceedings{d7dc871c0dea4ded85fa4dc7802b6853,
title = "Information sources and needs in the obesity and diabetes twitter discourse",
abstract = "Obesity and diabetes epidemics are affecting about a third and tenth of US population, respectively, capturing the attention of the nation and its institutions. Social media provides an open forum for communication between individuals and health organizations, a forum which is easily joined by parties seeking to gain profit from it. In this paper we examine 1.5 million tweets mentioning obesity and diabetes in order to assess (1) the quality of information circulating in this conversation, as well as (2) the behavior and information needs of the users engaged in it. The analysis of top cited domains shows a strong presence of health information sources which are not affiliated with a governmental or academic institution at 41{\%} in obesity and 50{\%} diabetes samples, and that tweets containing these domains are retweeted more than those containing domains of reputable sources. On the user side, we estimate over a quarter of non-informational obesity discourse to contain fat-shaming – a practice of humiliating and criticizing overweight individuals – with some self-directed toward the writers themselves. We also find a great diversity in questions asked in these datasets, spanning definition of obesity as a disease, social norms, and governmental policies. Our results indicate a need for addressing the quality control of health information on social media, as well as a need to engage in a topically diverse, psychologically charged discourse around these diseases.",
keywords = "Diabetes, Information need, Misinformation, Obesity, Social media, Twitter",
author = "Yelena Mejova",
year = "2018",
month = "4",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1145/3194658.3194664",
language = "English",
volume = "2018-April",
pages = "21--29",
booktitle = "DH 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Digital Health",
publisher = "Association for Computing Machinery",

}

TY - GEN

T1 - Information sources and needs in the obesity and diabetes twitter discourse

AU - Mejova, Yelena

PY - 2018/4/23

Y1 - 2018/4/23

N2 - Obesity and diabetes epidemics are affecting about a third and tenth of US population, respectively, capturing the attention of the nation and its institutions. Social media provides an open forum for communication between individuals and health organizations, a forum which is easily joined by parties seeking to gain profit from it. In this paper we examine 1.5 million tweets mentioning obesity and diabetes in order to assess (1) the quality of information circulating in this conversation, as well as (2) the behavior and information needs of the users engaged in it. The analysis of top cited domains shows a strong presence of health information sources which are not affiliated with a governmental or academic institution at 41% in obesity and 50% diabetes samples, and that tweets containing these domains are retweeted more than those containing domains of reputable sources. On the user side, we estimate over a quarter of non-informational obesity discourse to contain fat-shaming – a practice of humiliating and criticizing overweight individuals – with some self-directed toward the writers themselves. We also find a great diversity in questions asked in these datasets, spanning definition of obesity as a disease, social norms, and governmental policies. Our results indicate a need for addressing the quality control of health information on social media, as well as a need to engage in a topically diverse, psychologically charged discourse around these diseases.

AB - Obesity and diabetes epidemics are affecting about a third and tenth of US population, respectively, capturing the attention of the nation and its institutions. Social media provides an open forum for communication between individuals and health organizations, a forum which is easily joined by parties seeking to gain profit from it. In this paper we examine 1.5 million tweets mentioning obesity and diabetes in order to assess (1) the quality of information circulating in this conversation, as well as (2) the behavior and information needs of the users engaged in it. The analysis of top cited domains shows a strong presence of health information sources which are not affiliated with a governmental or academic institution at 41% in obesity and 50% diabetes samples, and that tweets containing these domains are retweeted more than those containing domains of reputable sources. On the user side, we estimate over a quarter of non-informational obesity discourse to contain fat-shaming – a practice of humiliating and criticizing overweight individuals – with some self-directed toward the writers themselves. We also find a great diversity in questions asked in these datasets, spanning definition of obesity as a disease, social norms, and governmental policies. Our results indicate a need for addressing the quality control of health information on social media, as well as a need to engage in a topically diverse, psychologically charged discourse around these diseases.

KW - Diabetes

KW - Information need

KW - Misinformation

KW - Obesity

KW - Social media

KW - Twitter

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85047199469&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85047199469&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1145/3194658.3194664

DO - 10.1145/3194658.3194664

M3 - Conference contribution

VL - 2018-April

SP - 21

EP - 29

BT - DH 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Digital Health

PB - Association for Computing Machinery

ER -