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Healthy-Eating Blogs

Dishing Out What Readers Really Love

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Thinking of starting a nutrition
or healthy-eating blog? Start by
knowing the data on what end users find most useful.

To understand what people
are looking for, researchers asked
33 women for their perceptions of
four Canadian healthy-eating blogs. The results were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The women said the most useful blogs included these components:

  • Recipes. Almost all women interviewed found recipes were essential and relevant.
  • Videos. The women loved videos demonstrating new cooking techniques, though few blogs included them.
  • Search panes and keywords. These made it easier to find specific content.
  • Hyperlinks directing readers to other posts in the same blog or to reliable external resources.
  • Identifiable authors, disclosed conflicts of interest and references citing sources. The women considered these factors critical, as they boost ­credibility.
  • Name, picture and professional experience of the blog author.
  • Large font size, defined paragraphs, subtitles and well-structured posts.
  • Quick responses to comments and questions, though some of the women said they felt reluctant to post comments.
  • Narrative-style blogs with social engagement, personal experiences and everyday stories. Readers thought these were more useful than nonnarrative blogs that focused primarily on reasoned arguments and health claims.

Do you have a healthy-eating or fitness blog? What characteristics do your readers find most useful? After reading this study recap, what will you do differently? Send your responses to Sandy Todd Webster at [email protected]

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD

"Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine physician, registered dietitian and health coach. She practices general pediatrics with a focus on healthy family routines, nutrition, physical activity and behavior change in North County, San Diego. She also serves as the senior advisor for healthcare solutions at the American Council on Exercise. Natalie is the author of five books and is committed to helping every child and family thrive. She is a strong advocate for systems and communities that support prevention and wellness across the lifespan, beginning at 9 months of age."

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