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Wikipedia Articles on Nutrition: Are they Accurate and Complete?

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 2 ]


Norman J. Temple *   Pages 237 - 240 ( 4 )


Background: There is controversy regarding whether Wikipedia entries in the area of health-related topics are accurate and complete.

Objective: To investigate the accuracy and completeness of Wikipedia entries on nutrition.

Methods: Fifty-three accurate statements were formulated. Topics covered diverse areas of nutrition. One or more search terms were developed for each statement. Wikipedia entries were identified using Google for 89 search terms. These were graded for level of accuracy and completeness.

Results: The entries for 73.5% of the statements had high scores (at most only minor problems were seen). The entries for 18.9% of the statements had a lesser degree of accuracy and completeness; the most common problem was that at least one entry for a statement provided no information on the statement. Serious problems of missing information were seen with the entries for 7.6% of the statements. No errors were found in any Wikipedia entries.

Conclusion: While Wikipedia entries in the area of nutrition are quite accurate and free of errors, important information is often missing. Nutrition professionals should be discouraged from relying on Wikipedia. These findings are broadly consistent with other studies of Wikipedia entries in healthrelated areas.


Accuracy and completeness, diet information, health information, health-related topics, nutrition information, Wikipedia.


Centre for Science, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta T9S 3A3

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