Nutrition sites give Web users something to chew on
But watch out for the sales pitches
From Correspondent Carolyn O'Neil
ATLANTA (CNN) -- The World Wide Web offers a cornucopia of
information, from cars to cardiac surgery, and a recent
survey found that 37 percent of those using the Internet go
browsing for health information.
Those so inclined can find a bulging buffet of Web sites to
choose from. Many sites single out specific topics, such as
Or as Jeanne Goldberg, professor of nutrition at Tufts
University, points out, you can be more generic.
"You can type the word 'nutrition' in one of the search
engines and get close to 200,000 hits," she says.
But Web users should be wary of sites that purport to offer
nutritional information when in fact they are making a sales
pitch. One such site offers plenty of information on
vitamins, but it's really there to sell supplements.
"If they're selling a product, particularly over the
Internet, I don't list them in my site, 'cause that's the
primary purpose, and I wonder about the quality of the
information," says Professor Shortie McKinney of Drexel
McKinney's nutrition Web site guide was a hit with registered
dietitians who got a chance to surf the Internet at the
American Dietetic Association's annual meeting.
Nutrition Navigator takes 200 pages
New this week on the Web is a site to help consumers sort
through nutrition on the Internet. Nutrition Navigator,
launched by Goldberg, rates 200 pages on the World Wide Web.
"The amount of information is burgeoning," she says. "There
is no control over what gets on the Web. Consumers are
increasingly going to it, and we saw an opportunity to bring
order out of chaos."
Some Web sites that might seem to be mere marketing tools got
good grades from Nutrition Navigator.
"You cannot tell a Web site by its cover, and you cannot tell
a Web site by who's sponsored it," Goldberg says.
So as more Web guides go online, cruising the Internet for
credible nutrition advice could be a healthier experience.