J Nutr Health.  2023 Apr;56(2):203-216. 10.4163/jnh.2023.56.2.203.

A study on the weight control behavior according to cluster types of the motivation to use social media among university students in the Jeonbuk area

  • 1Major of Nutrition Education, Graduate School of Education, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Korea
  • 2Department of Statistics, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Korea
  • 3Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Korea


This study examines the weight control behavior depending on university students’ motives of using social media.
The participants were 447 university students in the Jeonbuk area. Collected data were analyzed using factor analysis, cluster analysis, analysis of variance, and χ 2 tests with SPSS v. 26.0. Considering the motives of using social media, we investigated the usage of social media, dietary behavior related to social media, and weight control behavior.
Using the K-clustering method, the motives to use social media were categorized into three clusters: cluster 1 was the interest-centered group, cluster 2 was the multipurpose information-seeking group, and cluster 3 was the relationship-centered group. Among the various social media sites, YouTube (86.8%), Instagram (76.1%), and Facebook (61.1%) were the most visited by the subjects. The dietary behavior related to social media in cluster 2 was significantly higher than clusters 1 and 3 (p < 0.001). Clusters 1 and 2 showed a significantly higher dissatisfaction with one’s weight (p < 0.05) and consequent interest in weight control than cluster 3 (p < 0.001). Cluster 2 used weight control-related information from social media significantly more than other clusters (p < 0.05). Weight control experiences in cluster 1 and 2 were significantly higher than in cluster 3 (p < 0.001).
Differences in dietary behavior related to social media and weight control behavior were observed between cluster types of motivation to use social media. Based on the usage motives of university students and their behaviors, we propose that educational programs should be conducted for weight control using social media.


social media; behavior; motivation; students
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