Submitted: 01 Oct 2018
Revised: 17 Nov 2018
Accepted: 19 Nov 2018
First published online: 23 Jan 2019
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Health Promot Perspect. 2019;9(1):85-88.
doi: 10.15171/hpp.2019.11
PMID: 30788272
PMCID: PMC6377697
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  Full Text View: 125

Short Communication

An assessment of fluoride related posts on Instagram

Corey H. Basch 1 * , Nicole Milano 2, Grace C. Hillyer 3

1 Department of Public Health, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ 07470, USA
2 School of Social Work, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
3 Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University NY, NY 10032, USA


Background: Social media is a driving force in the sharing of information. The purpose of this study is to describe fluoride related content on Instagram, a popular social media platform. Methods: Content categories were created and coded to better describe the nature of the posts.Data collection occurred in three sessions, two months apart. Only relevant posts that included images and had text written in the English language were included. Results: The most common topics were conspiracy theory, contained in 37.3% of posts, followed by dangers of fluoride to health (30.3%) and benefits of fluoride to teeth (28.7%). Of the posts reviewed, 96/300 (32.0%) contained pro-fluoride content while 139/300 (63.0%) posts featured anti-fluoride content. Content varied significantly between pro- and anti-fluoride posts.Conclusion: Our review of Instagram posts revealed that there were approximately 300 posts focused on fluoride related content. Of these posts, there was a higher number of anti-fluoride related content compared to pro-fluoride related content. With accessibility comes the potential for misinformation. Future efforts from medical providers need to focus on educating consumers about reliable sources for health information on the internet.
Citation: Basch CH, Milano N, Hillyer GC. An assessment of fluoride related posts on Instagram. Health Promot Perspect. 2019;9(1):85-88.doi: 10.15171/hpp.2019.11.
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