A Caution about Diabetes Social-Networking Sites

The internet has become a popular source for diabetics seeking medical advice and support.  But, it’s important to be cautious about the information and advice that online social-networking communities may offer.  A recent study reviewed the top 10 social-networking communities focused on diabetes and found that much of the information provided there can’t be trusted.  Four of the sites contained misinformation about diabetes and six of the sites did not distinguish between editorial content and advertising content.  Unfortunately, the study did not provide the names of the sites used in the study.  The authors suggest that people with diabetes who are looking for health tips online should make sure that the medical information provided on a site matches their physician’s advice and they should also check to see if the site has expert moderators (ex. Physicians who specialize in diabetes or Certified Diabetes Educators). 

You can read an abstract of the study here.

Karen McPartland, RD, CSSD

Princeton Longevity Center