Transparency and readability assessments of childhood obesity websites

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O'Neal, Pamela K.

O'Neal, Pamela K. (2009). Transparency and Readability Assessments of Childhood Obesity Websites . In Proceedings: 5th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 144-145


Currently, there are over 25 million U.S. children who are overweight or obese [1 & 2]. Approximately 113 million or 80% of adult Americans regularly seek health information on the Internet [3]. Parents whose children are diagnosed as overweight or obese may look to the Internet for information about how best to manage this critical health issue. The quality of the information they receive may at times be misleading or inaccurate [4]. By examining websites containing information about obese and overweight children and confirming if the content meets standards set forth by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (U.S.H.H.S.), the transparency of childhood obesity websites can be determined. Parents who obtain information about their child's health from websites need to know (1) the identity of the site's sponsor, (2) the purpose of the site, (3)information sources utilized, (4) privacy policy, (5) if the site is evaluated and (6) how it is updated [5]. To assess the transparency and clarity of websites containing information about the management of childhood obesity, 52 websites were examined to indicate the extent to which they followed the six criteria

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Paper presented to the 5th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, Wichita State University, May 1, 2009.
Research completed at the Elliott School of Communication, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences