Almost half of Americans take health and wellness tips from social networks, but should we?

Despite the concern about "false health claims" Often found online, 44% of Americans have followed the health, fitness, and diet tips found on social networks such as Twitter or Instagram, according to the survey published this week.

The results of the Cleveland Clinic Survey and Parade Magazine highlights our complicated relationship with social networks.

Among the life advice available, people said they felt more comfortable adopting natural remedies, new exercises and dietary changes., according to the DailyMail. This is not so surprising considering the the average American spends almost 2 1/2 hours a day on social media.

However, the crux of the matter is that it is not always easy to eliminate good advice from bad ones, especially when it comes to influential people on social networks with thousands, or millions, of followers.

The director of functional medicine at Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Mark Hyman, emphasizes the need to distinguish between what is in fashion and what is based on scientific data. He told the DailyMail, "There may be many false claims about health, so it is important to ask where that information or advice comes from. "

A study conducted by George Washington University in 2018 illustrated the danger of trusting information implicitly without any critical analysis. In this study, researchers found that a large percentage of vaccine tweets came from Russian trolls and bots.

On the other hand, Hyman said that health information on social networks can also be inspiring, especially when it comes to changing the diet or exercise regime. "We do much better when we have social support for what we are doing," he said. "And social networks can be very motivating."

According to the survey, 18% of respondents had changed their exercise regimen and another 18% had changed their diet due to advice on social networks.

Hyman and his colleagues also discovered that approximately 22% of Americans are receptive to the idea of ​​virtual medicine and video chat with a doctor. The will to make aHome medical tests are also on the rise. According to the survey, about 36% of participants would have a medical examination at home, particularly those for cholesterol, colon cancer and allergies. Hyman told Parade:

"The tests at home are on the rise, and they won't disappear. In general, I think that people who empower themselves around their own health and have their information are good. The caveat is that you should make sure you understand it, know with what to do and they are getting the right help. "

The survey conducted in June 2019 was a random sample of 2,000 men and women aged 18 to 65. Find the full results here.

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