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BIG data+social media+economics=BIG nutritional Δ? ?

Author: greg

Post on 19-Aug-2014




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Discuss the findings of a study that utilized BIG data, economic theory and a social media intervention aimed to improve nutritional behavior of college students. Millions of data points were collected to provide insight into daily food choice through a centralized Point-of-Sale system (32-weeks of daily meals purchased for over 3,700 emerging adults). This data then informed a 12-week intervention measuring the efficacy of FB, Instagram, SnapChat, and Slingshot to influence eating behaviors.


  • ?
  • Moderator and Research Team Josie Ahlquist, PhD (ABD) Moderator, Consultant & Social Media Educator Greg Heiberger, Ph.D. Principle Investigator Undergraduate Program Manager, SDSU Lacey McCormack, Ph.D., MPH, RD, LN, HFS Co-Investigator Assistant Professor, SDSU Kuo-Liang (Matt) Chang, Ph.D. Co-Investigator Assistant Professor, SDSU
  • Discussion Format Discussion and analysis 32-week research project which collected millions of data points regarding nutritional purchase 12-week social media intervention with 450 emerging adults aimed to affect nutritional choice Analysis through the tools and lens of each researcher
  • The lenses through which the researcher team members see the world
  • @greg_heiberg er
  • Lacey McCormack
  • Matt Chang
  • Research Study 32-weeks collecting BIG nutritional data Focus groups informing a: 12-week nutritional change intervention Analysis Nutritional Economic Social media efficacy
  • BIG Data Who & What 3,700 students purchase data for 32-weeks. Millions of data points collected. Millions of dollars spent. Where Every on-campus point of sale for prepared food When Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Why Set a baseline for current nutritional purchase (via caloric intake, USDA food grouping, etc.)
  • Econ Analysis AIDS Model
  • Nutritional Data match All menu items will be matched nutritionally to the student USDA Caloric intake
  • 12-week intervention
  • Recruitment of Participants 450 students recruited Fall 2014 Pre-data collected (BMI, weight, questionnaire = $25 incentive) Post-data (BMI, weight, questionnaire = $25 incentive)
  • Recruitment of Participants 75 assigned to each group 75% engagement = $50 incentive Engagement = follow and engage with assigned medium
  • Experimental Design & Group Assignment
  • 12-week intervention 2 nutrition messages delivered per week (specific to campus dining locations) To receive a $50 incentive participants must respond to 75% of the messages: Instagram group must like SnapChat group must view Slingshot group must SnapBack their most recent meal Facebook group must like Face-to-face group must attend in person Control group no enrollment or action
  • Example
  • Social media purposefully chosen for this study for graduated levels of engagement Facebook = Baseline (many nutrition educators and dining facilities use it) Instagram = passive (only have to like) SnapChat = moderate engagement (must watch before it dissappears FOREVER) SlingBox = high engagement (must sling-back photo so see our message) Face-to-face = traditional education medium Control = gotta have it for strong research design ;-)
  • Analysis Engagement level with medium Efficacy of each medium Maximum payoff for administrators of social media accounts Nutritional Change pre-, during, post- study Economic Theory Application (AIDS Model)
  • Team Bios
  • Greg Heiberger, Ph.D. Dr. Heiberger is an engaged and analytical leader in the research, design and implementation of emerging technologies into the higher education learning environment. He has 10 years of experience in higher education - spanning university administration, teaching and research in both academic and student affairs. He has won numerous awards from his peers and students for his rigorous and engaging teaching and advising. Dr. Heiberger was also recently names an HHMI & National Academies of Sciences Education Fellow. Gregs research-to-practice approach has spanned projects including one of the first studies examining Facebook and student involvement theory, Twitters impact on college student engagement and more recent research analyzing the impacts of social media in micro- aggressions with under-represented students and the impacts of iPads in collaborative learning environments. He is at the forefront of researching the impact of new technology and social media in emerging adulthood.
  • Lacey McCormack, Ph.D., MPH, RD, LN, HFS Dr. McCormack has a background in public health nutrition and holds a PhD in nutrition from South Dakota State University. In addition, she is a licensed, Registered Dietitian and an American College of Sports Medicine certified Health/Fitness Specialist. She has spent over 10 years in research, spanning a variety of positions and responsibilities, building a solid understanding of how to design, conduct and disseminate research. She has worked on an observational study thats followed over 1,200 rural individuals in South Dakota for almost 10 years and directed the implementation of the multi-state, multi-million dollar NIH funded research study. She has played a role in multiple cross-sectional and behavioral intervention studies and has experience crafting study designs, securing funding and collecting, managing, analyzing and publishing data. Her nutrition expertise and research background positions her well for overseeing nutrition-related aspects of this project (including social media messaging) and in study design and analysis.
  • Kuo-Liang (Matt) Chang, Ph.D. Dr. Kuo-Liang Matt Chang holds a Ph.D. in Economics from University of Utah. His expertise is in the areas of consumer economics and value identification, with an emphasis on agricultural products that contribute to the profits and sustainability of regional economy and local community. Dr. Changs background is very relevant to this project because much of the research he has conducted has involved with research methods that examine consumers behavior and producers price strategies. He is also very interested in studies of how financial incentives affect consumers behavioral towards unhealthy consumption such as tobacco, betel, and alcohol.
  • Josie Ahlquist, Ph.D. (ABD Josie Ahlquist is a doctoral candidate at California Lutheran University in the Higher Education Leadership program. She is an emerging scholar on social media in education, exploring how leadership and social media are intertwined. She blogs weekly at, connecting scholarly research to best practices for students and educational leaders. She received her Masters in Education from Northern Arizona University and majored in sociology and human development at South Dakota State University. She has over a decade in Higher Education including areas of student activities, campus recreation, student unions, residence life, judicial affairs, student leadership and new student orientation. As a speaker she has trained thousands of student leaders, recently providing a digital remix on how to develop digital student leaders of the 21st century. She is a co-author in the Handbook of Student Affairs Administration textbook, writing the chapter on Computer-Mediated Communication and Social Media and is published in The Journal of Leadership Studies, exploring Digital Leadership Education using Social Media and the Social Change Model.
  • Resources Support for this project was provided by the Sanford Health SDSU Collaborative Research program and by the SD Board of Regents R&D Innovation program. Photos: