Keto Sociological Research Plan and Methodology (2017)


The ketogenic (“keto”) diet is a diet consisting of very low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high fat. It is designed to result in nutritional ketosis, a state in which the body is burning fat as is its primary source of energy instead of glucose. Recent years have seen the ketogenic diet increase rapidly in popularity, due in large part to its efficacy in supporting weight loss. However, we believe there remains a gap between current ketogenic diet permeation and potential adoption. As proponents of the health benefits of the diet and producers of ultra-low carbohydrate foods, we seek to better understand and address the current barriers to adoption and long-term diet adherence.



The purpose of this research is to gain a deep understanding of the ketogenic landscape in order to support five discrete objectives:

  1. Gather insight into the evolving composition of the ketogenic community, including overall number of people following the diet
  2. Understand barriers to awareness and adoption so that targeted education and information can be created and disseminated by a variety of players
  3. Generate a yardstick by which progress can be measured over time
  4. Identify where opportunities for new commercial solutions may exist so that a variety of players can solve them
  5. Foster collaboration among players in the market for the benefit of the broader community



Prior to conducting this research, a review of existing ketogenic community research and literature was performed. Where feasible, question syntax from earlier research was duplicated here so that changes in trends, attitudes, and adherence could be measured over time.

This research is to be be conducted as two independent surveys. The first survey (Ketogenic Prevalence) is to be performed utilizing general population sample to determine ketogenic diet awareness, propensity, and prevalence.

The second survey (Ketogenic Community) is to be performed utilizing convenience sample of those who indicate some degree of familiarity with the ketogenic diet in order to examine barriers to diet consideration, barriers to adoption, and barriers to long term adherence. Based on initial responses, respondents in this survey will be refined into four subpopulations: Currents, Washouts, Would Not Considers, and Would Considers.

  1. Currents are identified as individuals who currently adhere to a ketogenic diet. Among currents, we asked questions aimed at understanding who these individuals are (demographic, psychographic), why they follow the diet, how much weight they have lost, why they started vs. continue the diet, what has been challenging about the diet, what would make the diet easier to follow, and whether they plan to adhere to the diet long term.
  2. Washouts are identified as individuals who have followed a ketogenic diet in the past but no longer do so currently. Among washouts, we asked questions aimed at understanding for how long they followed the diet and why they discontinued it.
  3. Would Considers are identified as individuals who have never attempted a ketogenic diet but who would consider following the diet based on a short description.  We ask them questions about what their barriers to getting started are or might be.
  4. Would Not Considers are identified as individuals who have never attempted a ketogenic diet but who would not consider following the diet based on a short description.  We ask this group questions attempting to elicit their prejudices against consideration.



This research is to be conducted during the Summer of 2017.

Data for the Ketogenic Prevalence survey is to be gathered using purchased general population sample from Google surveys. Respondents are to be limited to US only, 18+ with n >= 200. 

Data for the Ketogenic Community survey is to be gathered using convenience sampling. Respondents are to be drawn from subreddits, Facebook affinity groups, participating company email lists, online forums, and influencer networks.  



Results will be released during the KetoCon conference, September 1 - 3, 2017, and made available at that time on the Keto and Co. website ( Anonymized raw data will be made publicly available.



Research will be conducted on an annual basis and longitudinal analysis will be included in future results.

Older Post Newer Post