If it isn’t obvious already, Google has become a major research tool for people the world over. So it’s no surprise we’re using the search engine when looking for health answers. Which, coincidentally, makes it easy to find data we can use to see what other people are asking about when it comes to health.
And we’re actually thinking pretty deeply about health issues these days. Which we need to, seeing as we’re faced with some serious issues like super-bugs and the over-prescription of pharmaceuticals, for example.
“How can I eat healthy,” was the most queried search over the last year. Which is important, because it’s the root of most of our health problems in today’s world–one that is full of processed foods and unhealthy farming techniques. Eating has also become extremely segmented with different diets ranging from gluten-free to Paleo to vegetarian. And the beautiful part is that we don’t have to be one or the other, we can mix and match our diet plans to meet our needs (i.e. you can benefit from a gluten-free diet even if you don’t have celiacs).
Here are a few of the other important searches of the last year:
From a literal, health of one’s body perspective, “Is bronchitis contagious?” was a highly searched subject. Which it isn’t as bronchitis is actually like walking pneumonia, where you played through a cold and didn’t get enough rest and a chest cold worsens, causing inflammation of the bronchial tubes (the cold where it started is contagious, however). While we’re talking pneumonia, “Is pneumonia contagious,” was another top health search, which of course depends on whether it’s viral or bacterial pneumonia. Viral is, and is a particular risk for older people. All pulmonary infections can usually be linked back to one cause: smoking, either early in life or throughout. So put out the cigarette. That’s also why respiratory illness is still a top ten killer of Americans.
With all the popular diets, it’s no wonder that “What is gluten,” came up huge in the most oft-googled subjects. Gluten, of course, is a protein in wheat and a small population of Americans suffer from an auto-immune condition called celiac disease (about one percent of us must avoid gluten all together). Gluten can actually affect a lot of things in our bodies, mostly because of the way it’s processed and many people are experimenting with gluten-free diets. Which is pretty smart because it’s not about the gluten. It’s about the digestion of gluten and the products it’s found in. Think about how you feel when you eat a bready meal like pizza or a meatball sub or even a hamburger with a gigantic bun. You just don’t feel the same as when you simply eat meat and salad. Digesting bread isn’t that easy on our bodies.
Another goodie that has ranked high on the search list over the last year is, “How many calories should I eat?” A solid question, and honestly, a pain in the ass to keep track of when you’re trying to eat better. It obviously depends on how old we are and how much exercise we get. It also depends on what we’re putting in our bodies. Here’s a nifty little calorie counter you can input your info into to get more detailed.
Learning from your fellow humans is–and always has been–a solid way to understand our health.