Forget the Health Sites, Dolly Has Better Health Advice

DollyYou might think a magazine or website devoted to health is the best place to look for health advice. But unfortunately, you would be wrong about that. A new study of the health advice in popular Australian magazines concludes:

Australian magazines, especially those with health in the title, generally presented poor quality, unreliable health advice. Teen magazine Dolly provided the highest quality advice.

Sad to say, we are not surprised. We must admit, though, we would not have picked Dolly as a go-to source for health advice.

The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health has just published these findings online. Amanda Wilson and colleagues evaluated the quality of health information in 163 articles from nine magazines popular in Australia. They used a set of ten criteria to score the articles. Reliable evidence was a key factor. Discussions of risks and benefits added to the score. The authors looked for clarity.

Reliable evidence was missing from much of the health advice dispensed. Only 17% of the articles in Women’s Health met that criterion. In Dolly, 100% of the articles met it.

Reader, beware.

Click here for the study and here for more perspective from the lead author.

Magazine, photograph © Roco Julie / flickr

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November 22, 2016