Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Twitter can be used to address specific health issues

Date:
July 10, 2014
Source:
Washington University in St. Louis
Summary:
A new study examined the use of the hashtag #childhoodobesity in tweets to track Twitter conversations about the issue of overweight kids. The study noted that conversations involving childhood obesity on Twitter don't often include comments from representatives of government and public health organizations that likely have evidence relating to how best to approach this issue. The authors think maybe they should.

Childhood obesity is one of the top public health concerns in the United States, with 32 percent of youths aged 2-19 classified as obese as of 2012. As health problems such as childhood obesity grow, individuals and organizations have taken to Twitter to discuss the problem.

Related Articles


A new study, led by Jenine K. Harris, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, examined the use of the hashtag #childhoodobesity in tweets to track Twitter conversations about the issue of overweight kids.

The study published this month in the American Journal of Public Health, noted that conversations involving childhood obesity on Twitter don't often include comments from representatives of government and public health organizations that likely have evidence relating to how best to approach this issue.

"Childhood obesity is of great concern to the public health community," Harris said. "People are really talking about it on Twitter, and we saw an opportunity to better understand perceptions of the problem."

Twitter use is growing nationwide. In its 2014 Twitter update, the Pew Research Center found that Twitter is used more by those in lower-income groups, which traditionally are more difficult to reach with health information.

While younger Americans also are more likely to use Twitter, it is used equally across education groups and is used more by non-white Americans than whites.

This, Harris said, is one of the reasons Twitter is an avenue that the academic and government sources with accurate health information should consider taking advantage of in order to reach a wide variety of people.

"I think public health so far doesn't have a great game plan for using social media, we're still laying the foundation for that," she said. "We're still learning what works.

"Public health communities, politicians, and government sources -- people who really know what works -- should join in the conversation. Then we might be able to make an impact," she said.

The study was co-authored by Sarah Moreland-Russell, PhD, associate director for the Center for Public Health Systems Science and research assistant professor; Rachel G. Tabak, PhD, research assistant professor; Lindsay R. Ruhr; and Ryan C. Maier.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis. The original article was written by Varsha Sridhar. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jenine K. Harris, Sarah Moreland-Russell, Rachel G. Tabak, Lindsay R. Ruhr, Ryan C. Maier. Communication About Childhood Obesity on Twitter. American Journal of Public Health, 2014; 104 (7): e62 DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301860

Cite This Page:

Washington University in St. Louis. "How Twitter can be used to address specific health issues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710151723.htm>.
Washington University in St. Louis. (2014, July 10). How Twitter can be used to address specific health issues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710151723.htm
Washington University in St. Louis. "How Twitter can be used to address specific health issues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710151723.htm (accessed February 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Forensic science, which has fascinated generations with its unravelling of gruesome crime mysteries, is being put under the microscope in an exhibition of real criminal investigations in London. Duration: 00:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Couple Celebrates Identical Triplets

Michigan Couple Celebrates Identical Triplets

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) A suburban Detroit couple who have two older children are adjusting to life after becoming parents to identical triplets _ a multiple birth a doctor calls rare. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins