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Abstract

Online diet and exercise programs offer individuals many benefits not previously afforded, such as convenience and an increased network of like-minded individuals who share relevant information, while at the same time providing different levels of anonymity and engagement. While studies conducted of users engaging in groups on the popular social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter, when dieting have produced notable results, including the most frequent content shared between users, research has not yet been published regarding this topic, in relation to the social media site Instagram. There is also a lack of literature regarding the most engaging type of content produced by online-driven diet and/or exercise-related program owners to their networks across social media.

Using a mixed-methods approach, it was determined that the engagement of three online-driven diet and/or exercise-related programs (n=926+ posts), when measured over a 30-day period, was greater on Instagram than Facebook or Twitter. It was also found that humorous content, often unrelated to the actual program but found to be relevant by the networks of followers, elicited the greatest amount of engagement, as measured by likes and comments.

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