A snapshot of today’s online papers sees a variety of sponsored health claims designed to catch our attention. Can we trust them? It can all be too confusing and overwhelming…..
‘Health Benefits of Walnuts’
‘What Everybody Ought To Know About High Blood Pressure (The Risks And a 100% Natural & Save Solution)’
‘How I Completely Got Rid Of My Severe Haemorrhoid [Piles]’
Plus all the other (significantly more) sponsored posts about sexual performance, libido etc.
And …don’t forget a frequent pastime of the more internet enterprising of us who increasingly self-diagnose via the ‘google is your friend’ option…
When it comes down to it the reader ends up being none the wiser and probably more anxious than they were before starting on this journey of health self-discovery…
So how can we make the right judgements about the health information we get online?
- Things that are too good to be true often are. Be sceptical.
- There is a maxim in science – ‘nothing is ever absolute’. So – no secret miracles have been missed by those in the know; there is no drug that can cure any disease completely etc. etc. Claims of these kind are invariably false.
- Consider the source – is there anything in it for them? Are they selling a product? Usually this comes in right at the end of the article. By which time you’re hooked!
- ‘Who’ is behind the information? Is it an established organisation or government? Is there an ‘about us’ page that can provide more insight? Credibility determines reliability.
- Are there research references to support the article and is the link provided? Again, you will need to assess the links and they should be current and not outdated. You may also find that the findings in the article are replicated on other sites. This increases the authenticity of the data.
- Poor quality – grammar, punctuation mistakes undermine the validity of the content.
- Online forums are active and may be helpful; but remember that one person’s experience may not be relevant or apply to you.
Use your judgement and the tips above to sensibly evaluate health related information online. Seek out the commonly accessed and hence more reliable websites such as
However, nothing beats face-to-face health professional contact if you have genuine concerns!