Background With the range of nutrition information online, assessing the resources that public access may improve the reliability and quality of the nutritional related COVID-19 information. The quality and reliability of the nutritional information in COVID-19 available on video sharing websites such as YouTube is unknown.
Objectives To evaluate whether the popularity of the videos correlated with the reliability and quality as determined by using the recognized quality scoring systems.
Methods YouTube was searched using the terms ‘nutrition and COVID-19’ in Turkish on February 1st, 2021. Videos were subsequently filtered according to relevancy, and first 280 videos were analyzed. Videos in other languages, duplicate videos, and live videos were excluded. A total of 218 videos were reviewed. Video demographics including number of views, likes, and dislikes were recorded. The upload source of each video was classified as news channel, health professionals, health centers, TV channels, government organisations, educational organisations and independent individual channels based on the information given at ‘about’ section of their YouTube profile. The transparency, utility, reliability and accuracy of video content was assessed using the Journal of the American Medical Association benchmark criteria (JAMA score). Quality of the videos were assessed with Global Quality Score (GQS).
Results According to the video source, 30.7% of the videos were shared by health professionals including doctors, dietitians, and nurses, whereas 18.7% of them shared by independent users. Educational organisations only shared 5% of the videos. Videos shared by health centers had the highest JAMA score (2.2 ± 0.8) followed by government organisations (2.1 ± 0.7). The independent users and TV channels’ videos had the lowest JAMA score (1.7 ± 0.7). GQS was the highest for government organisations’ videos (3.5 ± 01.1) whereas it was lowest for TV channels’ videos (2.8 ± 01.1). There was a significant positive correlation between JAMA score and GQS of the videos (r=0.201, p=0.05). According to the assessment of the relationship between length, number of views, likes, dislikes, view and like ratio, there was a correlation between the length of the video, like ratio and GQS (r=0.193, p=0.004 and r=0.140, p=0.039 respectively). There were not any significant associations between quantitative variables and JAMA score.
Conclusion Health professionals, educational and government organisations need to more engage in the spread of nutrition-related COVID-19 information to internet platforms such as YouTube. This will be an effective and immediately implementable public health strategy to effectively spread the right information.
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