Good & Bad Health Sites

by DavalosMcCormack on February 11, 2011

Say you have a pain, fever or a suspicious rash where do you go for help?  If you are like most  Americans you run to the internet to type in your symptoms and jump from website to website looking for what the heck ails you!  But how do you know if the health information  is correct? Which websites are the most reliable and how can you judge?  Should you believe the most popular websites?  Should you look at “targeted”  websites like Women’s Health?, or Health Sites for Children?

I mean, who can you trust for the most reliable healthsites?  Who you gonna call?  Consumer Reports! That’s who!

Consumer Reports has always been high on my list for unbiased, tested, and level headed information for consumers, right?  So why not trust them to focus their unbiased thoughtful testing and level headed reporting about “Health Websites”?

Shop Smart is a magazine under the Consumer Reports Banner and they just rated “Good” and “Bad” and “Ugly” Health Sites (sorry, I lied about the ugly) but they do have a list of sites you should avoid.

How did they do it?  They asked health experts for input on their opinions for the best and most reliable go to healthsites.  Then they divided  sites into categories, like Best site to prepare for a Dr’s appointment = Department of Health and Human Services ahrq.gov , or Best site for looking up symptoms = MayoClinic.com, and they also list Family Health, Doctor Resources, Nutrition, Health News, and other resources.

Then, dum…de…dum…They list, (scary music) the BAD Sites!  Sites with health misinformation.  Some of the “Bad” sites are tremendously popular, Like AsktheDoctor.com, or Medical-Library.net, or even —– DrWeil.com!

What!  Andy!  Tell them they are wrong, but Consumer Reports says, Andy’s site is long on promises and short on evidence.  Shop Smart actually says and the site is more focused on selling Andy’s products rather than information…..Really Andy?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosemary Wesela February 11, 2011 at 8:04 am

How nice to be able to check in with you and get such great hints!

This is one “plus” from Facebook. Hope you are both well. Mizz You!!!

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Davalos/McCormack February 14, 2011 at 7:35 am

Rosie!!!! We love you & Gary!

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Punk February 16, 2011 at 3:49 am

How does one know if you are a reliable site? I mean you base your expertise on Consumer Reports? There are people with financial interests in websites that are actually the so-called “Health Care Experts”. I should know … I work in the industry. At the end of the day, the Internet is teeming and crawling with misinformation. It’s useful to actaully see a real health care practitioner and perhaps more than one.

Peace,
from a friendly neighborhood MD who is not looking to create anything more than a healthy discussion of how people can polarize and antagonize others by putting a spin on information. Medicine is about doing your own due diligence in terms of research and not just believing in someone who is a TV celebrity or who promotes products, etc. where they stand to have a financial gain.

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Davalos/McCormack February 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Dear Unkypunky,
Hmmmm, How should I put this. I think finding reliable sites regarding health actually is helped by substantial, long term, consumer! oriented sites. We do not base our expertise wholey on Consumer
Reports. Having worked in journalism for many years….(see our bios) we have “reported” to our audience information they can use, or discard. It’s about informing people where to look,
and giving information so they can be their own experts. We do not purport ourselves as experts, this is a blog about ideas and information regarding health. So Andy…begin the change!
We agree, information should not be about making a profit, unless you are Consumer Reports who has established a responsible entity with a mission statement for the consumer.
We, of course monitor many “consumer” sites in order to give a balanced, informed, report to the consumer.
Thanks for your comment!

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