The quality of nutritional information available on popular websites: a content analysis.
Sommaire de l'article
The overall purpose of this study was to increase knowledge and understanding of the new informational landscape that is emerging on the Internet in relation to nutritional health content in order to provide policy makers with better communication and health promotion tools. We identified the sites most used by Canadians to access nutrition information and conducted content analyses to identify the sources of this nutritional information as well as its quality by systematic comparison with the main guidelines published in the Canada Food Guide. We found that commercial websites accounted for 80% of visits and time spent on seeking health and nutrition information. We also found uneven messaging about fruit and vegetable intake as well as consistent messaging undermining the 'eat a variety of foods' message, which is a central component of the Canada Food Guide. On the positive side, inappropriate or incongruent advice about salt, coffee and alcohol intake was virtually non-existent and advice congruent with the guide was found three times more often than incongruent advice. Finally, the site offering the best advice was a non-commercial government-based site. This site differed from the commercial sites not so much in its ability to deliver the 'right' advice but more in its ability to exclude articles with poor and misleading advice on their sites.