09 March 2009

A new report has found that a 55 per cent of women using the internet are researching health and medical information on the web. The results from the third annual WebWatch 2009 survey found that nine of the top 20 most popular health and medical issues researched on the internet focused on obesity, weight loss and healthy living.The report, published by Private Healthcare UK, is meant to provide a snapshot into the type of health issues that web users appear to be concerned about, and which websites people in the UK are visiting. About one-third of those who use the internet to research health and medical issues, including cosmetic surgery, are women over the age of 45, according to the research. The results from the survey echo new figures from the NHS Information Centre, which found that the amount of obesity surgery procedures, like liposuction, have increased 40 per cent from last year's numbers. The WebWatch report found that information about BMI (body mass index), calories and diabetes were the most common disease and condition terms searched. Keith Pollard, a representative from Private Healthcare UK, said: "The data shows that people are increasingly relying on the web as a resource for a wide range of information about health and medical services." Experts have noted that the data shows that the internet is becoming an invaluable tool for those looking to communicate and learn about health and medical matters. In addition, many medical companies are turning to internet as a way to promote public awareness issues surrounding obesity and weight loss to those who need it.