Venting weight: Analyzing the discourse of an online weight loss forum

Lydia Manikonda, Heather Pon-Barry, Subbarao Kambhampati, Eric Hekler, David W. McDonald

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

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online social communities are becoming increasingly popular platforms for people to share information, seek emotional support, and maintain accountability for losing weight. Studying the discourse in these communities can offer insights on how users benefit from using these applications. This paper presents an analysis of language and discourse patterns in forum posts by users who lose weight and keep it off versus users with fluctuating weight dynamics. In contrast to prior studies, we have access to the weekly self-reported check-in weights of users along with their forum posts. This paper also presents a study on how goal-oriented forums are different from general online forums in terms of language markers. Our results reveal differences about how the types of posts made by users vary along with their weight-loss patterns. These insights are closely related to the power dynamics of social interactions and can enable better design of weight-loss applications thereby contributing to a healthy society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWS-16-01
Subtitle of host publicationArtificial Intelligence Applied to Assistive Technologies and Smart Environments; WS-16-02: AI, Ethics, and Society; WS-16-03: Artificial Intelligence for Cyber Security; WS-16-04: Artificial Intelligence for Smart Grids and Smart Buildings; WS-16-05: Beyond NP; WS-16-06: Computer Poker and Imperfect Information Games; WS-16-07: Declarative Learning Based Programming; WS-16-08: Expanding the Boundaries of Health Informatics Using AI; WS-16-09: Incentives and Trust in Electronic Communities; WS-16-10: Knowledge Extraction from Text; WS-16-11: Multiagent Interaction without Prior Coordination; WS-16-12: Planning for Hybrid Systems; WS-16-13: Scholarly Big Data: AI Perspectives, Challenges, and Ideas; WS-16-14: Symbiotic Cognitive Systems; WS-16-15: World Wide Web and Population Health Intelligence
PublisherAI Access Foundation
Pages787-795
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781577357599
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event30th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2016 - Phoenix, United States
Duration: Feb 12 2016Feb 17 2016

Publication series

NameAAAI Workshop - Technical Report
VolumeWS-16-01 - WS-16-15

Other

Other30th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2016
CountryUnited States
CityPhoenix
Period2/12/162/17/16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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