“Can Parasitic Worms Cure Seasonal Allergies?”
“New Study Shows Too Much of This Breakfast Staple Will Literally Kill You”
“Here’s Why Sitting is Worse for Your Health than Smoking”
You — or someone you know — is bound to see headlines like these every day. After all, looking up health information remains one of the most popular internet activities. But as the saying goes, you can’t believe everything you read.
Kelly McBride, vice president of the Poynter Institute, last year told The Atlantic that “of all the categories of fake news, health news is the worst. There’s more bad health news out there than there is in any other category.”
Whether it’s viral stories that dandelion weed cures cancer, bogus health advice falsely attributed to the Mayo Clinic, advertisements masquerading as news, or outright fake medical news, scammers have found all sorts of new hacks to earn clicks and trick readers with sensationalized content.
Below I want to dive deeper into two recent examples of popular health stories that misrepresent the underlying science. I’ll point out where they went