YouTube: Health and wellbeing in the age of the prosumer. Analysis of YouTube videos about miracle diets


  • Bárbara Castillo-Abdul Universidad Rey Juan Carlos / ESAI Business School - Universidad Espíritu Santo (Ecuador)
  • David Blanco-Herrero Universidad de Salamanca


This paper analyses the quality of YouTube videos on miracle diets, and the interaction they generate, especially given the potential risk they may pose to viewers who follow advice that could potentially be harmful. Fifty of the most frequently-viewed videos in Spanish and English on the subject of fast diets were analysed. Through quantitative and qualitative content analysis, the quality and credibility of the information in these videos was analysed, as well as the effects of these variables on viewer interaction. The results suggest that the quality of this content is sometimes very low, with frequent references to ‘miracle products’, and recommendations that lack a scientific basis or any guarantee of effectiveness, and even containing misleading information or advice that may be harmful to health. However, the presence of balanced information, references to reliable sources, the inclusion of experts in the field, and the mention of qualifications or previous training led to a greater volume of positive interactions, while biased information or the use of unreliable sources correlates with fewer interactions. In general, it was found that the videos that use higher quality elements do so systematically, while those that employ dubious strategies also tend to do so across several areas. This demonstrates that, although exposure to these videos is very high and the quality is, in general, low, the inclusion of trusted elements in the videos has a positive impact on interaction with the audience.


digital literacy, communication, health communication, YouTubers


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