News & media

Uppsala ‘milk study’ ranked 23rd most mentioned in 2014

12 January 2015

The study on how milk affects mortality which has become widespread online is based among other things on questionnaires conducted in the late 80s and 90s.

In October, Uppsala University researchers published an article that showed a correlation between high milk consumption in adults and increased mortality, and in women, a higher rate of fractures. The study became a big hit online and has now been ranked by Altmetric as the 23rd most mentioned scientific article in 2014.

Altmetric ranks the impact of scientific articles based on the number of references online – in news articles, blogs and on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Weibo, and others. The Uppsala study was, among others, referenced in 66 news articles, 931 tweets and 744 Facebook posts, which earned it its 23rd place on Altmetric’s Top 100.

The ‘milk study’, which was published by the British Medical Journal, is based on large questionnaires about eating habits which were answered by more than 100 000 Swedish men and women. The quesionnaires were carried out in late 80s and 90s, and the information has now been matched against information about deaths and fractures among the participants.

The study found a correlation between high milk consumption and increased mortality rates, and among the women there was also a positive correlation to the number of fractures. The article gained great spread in Sweden and across the world.

According to Altmetric, the most frequently mentioned article in 2014 was a study performed on Facebook users. The researchers manipulated the newsfeeds of nearly 700,000 users by reducing the number of positive posts shown, which caused those users themselves to publish fewer positive posts and more negative ones. When the researchers reduced the number of negative posts shown, the opposite effect was observed.

Find out more about how Altmetric’s topp 100 is created.