Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Poor-quality weight loss advice often appears first in an online search — ScienceDaily

From the 14 November 2014 item at ScienceDaily

Source:Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health
Summary:More than 40 percent of U.S. Internet users use online search engines to seek guidance on weight loss and physical activity. A new study finds that high-quality weight loss information often appears after the first page of search engine results.

Given that obesity affects one-third of Americans, it is not surprising that more than 40 percent of U.S. Internet users use online search engines to seek guidance on weight loss and physical activity. A new study in the American Journal of Public Health finds that online searchers often initially encounter poor-quality weight loss information.

The study reveals that the first page of results, using a search engine like Google, is likely to display less reliable sites instead of more comprehensive, high-quality sites, and includes sponsored content that makes unrealistic weight loss promises.

..

“Federal agencies, academic institutions and medical organizations need to work a lot harder at search engine optimization to get their links on top of searches,” Modave added. “Consumers need to be more critical when reading online. Ideally, they could read original studies from which many stories are written but, of course, that’s not realistic for most people.”

 

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November 25, 2014 - Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , ,

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