Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Media, Art, and Text

First Advisor

Marcus Messner


This research study analyzed the sources of nutrition blog information as measured by frequency and type of sources used by nutrition bloggers. Since the use of online resources for finding health information has become more prevalent, it is important to further research the topic for the purpose of better understanding how our nutrition agenda is set by nutrition bloggers. Focusing on 20 nutrition blogs, the study content analyzed 3,156 blog posts during a one-year period from September 1, 2011 to August 31, 2012, yielding 5,263 sources. Additionally, in-depth interviews were conducted with the writers of all 20 blogs in July 2012. The findings showed that (1) nutrition bloggers are sourcing half of the time, (2) nutrition bloggers are citing a variety of sources that include both credible and less credible sources, (3) nutrition bloggers are finding and choosing sources in various ways that include both credible and less credible methods, and (4) there is no difference in the sources selected by men and women bloggers. Overall, this study shows the need to create best practices for blog sourcing that serve as guidelines for both bloggers and readers, with emphasis on guidelines for source frequency and credibility of sources.


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Date of Submission

May 2013