Feedback on Instagram posts for a gestational weight gain intervention


Waring ME, Pagoto SL, Moore Simas TA, Heersping G, Rudin LR, Arcangel K. Feedback on Instagram posts for a gestational weight gain intervention [published correction appears in Transl Behav Med. 2022 Apr 22;:]. Transl Behav Med. 2022;12(4):568-575. doi:10.1093/tbm/ibac001

Researchers evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of a private Instagram group and lifestyle intervention posts focused on healthy gestational weight gain. A study was conducted with pregnant women with pre-pregnancy overweight or obesity who use Instagram regularly. Eleven participants each created a private Instagram account and followed the other participants’ accounts and a moderator. The moderator, a registered dietitian, uploaded posts twice a day for 2 weeks about physical activity, healthy eating, goal setting and progress reports during pregnancy. Participants were encouraged to check the group daily and engage by liking, replying to comments, and posting their own photos. After the 2-week intervention, participants completed an online survey on acceptability of the Instagram posts developed by the researchers and participated in virtual focus group interviews via Webex. User engagement data was collected from Instagram. The results indicated all participants followed the moderator’s account and engaged with all study posts. Most participants (82%) reported feeling comfortable sharing in the group and 73% would participate in a similar group in the future. A majority of participants found the posts visually attractive and indicated that the posts provided helpful information. However, participants preferred more personalized content and felt hesitant to post their own photos because they did not feel their photos were high-quality and positive enough. Overall, the study demonstrated that creating a private Instagram group for delivery of a dietary and fitness intervention is feasible. Findings can inform next steps in development and future research developing Instagram-delivered interventions for other health behaviors or conditions.