For this post, I am suppose to be answering “Given the process of creating a Wikipedia entry, how reliable is the information found therein? ” Well, when reading through the ‘Dieting’ page on Wikipedia and reading all of the comments, I conclude that wikipedia is not a reliable source of information, at least when it comes to dieting.
The page discusses types of diets, muscle versus fat loss and medications that help with weight loss. In my opinion, the page represented a lot of little bits of information. There was not a section within the page that I felt provided enough information to convince me of their claims. Although Wikipedia encourages producers to back up their knowledge with reliable published resources, this page is an example of readers opinions and experiences, that is not backed up by facts.
While reading the Wikipedia page that is devoted to dieting, it is easy to see how one comment/section is biased from the next. Although many sections come with references, some comments left behind suggest that this page provides only a very basic list of dieting options without comparing one option to another. I agree with many of the comments that are written that a lot of the information provided on the page is limited to one point of view and is lacking references.
The thing with a topic like dieting, is that it is very subjective. One method that may work for one individual may not work for another. But it still stands that this page should be a source of credible information, not individual experiences without facts.
Moreover, this page does not seem to support the claim that Wikipedia is always changing to stay current and support research. The most recent comment that I could find was from March 2012. This is surprising to me because I thought that with the current hot topics of health and nutrition, this page would be more up to date.
After looking through other articles within Wikipedia, I believe that this page is underdeveloped. There are many other pages that are well developed and provide good sources of information and references. I believe that this topic is too subjective and there needs to be more emphases on research. Not just stating what a certain diet entails, but comparing it to others as well.
Royal, C. & Kapila, D. (2009). What’s on Wikipedia, and What’s Not . . . ?: Assessing Completeness of Information. Social Science Computer Review.27, 1.pp 138-148.
Wikipedia. “Dieting.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieting
Faraan Majeed – http://fitforyourmind.wordpress.com/
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