The Cleveland Clinic and Parade magazine surveys that nearly 44% of Americans take health and fitness advice from influences seriously. An average US citizen spends two to three hours daily exploring social media. That is why the Cleveland Clinic and Parade magazine created a poll to know how many of these people take these influencers’ advice serious.
The respondents of this poll liked natural remedies and diet plans more after finding their favorite influencers endorsing it. No doubt that social media is now accessible to everyone. It is easy to access information on health within minutes. But the health experts warn much of the content online to be unreliable and shady.
Viral health information may not always be true
The digital world is a new social platform for almost every person. These screens are a part of routine life and many people depend upon screens to socialize instead of in-person meetings. When an influencer with thousands of followers posts anything, all of these people assume it to be true. Even if there is no background information to support it, people would still believe it.
One thing that everyone needs to understand is that everything that is trendy is not necessarily true. Cleveland Clinic’s director of Functional Medicine, Dr. Mark Hyman shares this while giving his views on this survey report.
There are so many false health claims online that it is nearly impossible to judge if this advice is true or not. For example, a study from 2018 at George Washington University says that all twitter accounts that were posting against vaccination were mostly Russian troll accounts and bots.
As per this new survey, 20% of people who consider these influencers serious are those who have tried a natural remedy before. This remedy could be for anything from an everyday hack to major health problems like cancer.
Last year, an Oregon mother was into a court battle considering the care of her 13-year-old daughter. She was having chronic liver cancer and she wanted to treat her with CBD oil as a popular Internet remedy suggests.
The judge immediately ordered surgery for the little girl. But then the case was canceled and the case is still pending in the court because the mother is persistent to use CBD oil. Now, this is just a popular online remedy, which has no actual research or study to prove its effectiveness. Whole this thing adds more heat to the influencer’s controversy.
People may also find real motivation online
Now, on the other hand, all the information that social media tells can be inspirational and sometimes exciting. If one is already on a path to positivity, any motivational social media group or page can be very helpful. Linking it to the online advises from the survey, 18% of people changed their fitness plan as per online inspirational posts. Among these, 36% were on dietary changes i.e. keto diet, plant diet, etc.
Not just the social media influencers but many celebrities like Kim Kardashian and LeBron James, also share their fitness regime that people follow. However, their dietary secrets are designed by professional diet experts and doctors.
The survey also finds that Americans are happy to look for online health solutions such as consulting a doctor online. Looking it the other way, this is an opportunity for health professionals to access their patients online and provide authentic medical information online.