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Health Info Online: How to Know Who to Trust (Checklist included)

Published on: October 21, 2022

Finally, some guidance to help you determine what’s useful health information and what you can move to the trash!

It’s no secret that health information in the digital age can be confusing. You may be scrolling through TikTok and see one user tout the benefits of the ketogenic diet, while another user may show why you should avoid it at all costs.

Moving beyond  TikTok, even sources that we believe are reliable can present us with conflicting health information. As consumers, this can present us with challenging predicaments over who we can reliably trust.

Dietitians and nutrition professionals must navigate through a world of conflicting health information too. While researching info for an Instagram post to help people better understand blood sugar, I found an example of this immediately!

Background: 

“A1C or HgA1C” is an average measure of blood sugar levels over the course of 2-3 months that helps dietitians guide patients on next steps for managing their blood sugar.

The goal is to keep it in the optimal range or make sure it’s headed in that direction. Check out the two conflicting infographics below: 

While both seem to display helpful health information, you want to pay attention to a key difference between them.

  1. The first image is adapted from info from the American Diabetes Association, and highlights “Well-Controlled” values as 7 and below, “Elevated Levels” as between 8 and 10, and “Seriously Elevated Levels” as 11 and above.

2. The second graphic is from a Cure Diabetes blog post and highlights “Success” values as 4 to 6.5, “Caution” values as 7 to 9, and “Danger” values as 10 and above

How can two graphics be on the internet with different health advice? Unfortunately, it’s not that uncommon. 

What to do about it:

As we sift through health information online, it’s a non-negotiable to know where that information is coming from. The source is just as important as the information itself.

Image #1 was taken directly (and adapted) from a reliable source, the American Diabetes Association.

Image #2 the second image is from “someone’s” blog website who may or may not be a reliable health advisor. Before using or sharing health information, be sure to evaluate the source. 

A quick checklist to help you determine reliable sources of health information online

Read more here!

Our mission at Major League NutritionTM is to provide you with relevant, credible nutrition information, so you can incorporate it into your routine easily.

Check out the rest of the Major League NutritionTM  website and social media for more evidence-based blogs and podcasts, from sources you can trust.

We help clients cut through the conflicting digital health info so you can perform better now!

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MEET THE AUTHOR
Nicole Chenard, MS, RD, LDN learn more
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