After years of research into the subject I can reveal where people take their health advice from, and which advice they trust more. In reverse order, that's least important perceived source first.
1. Any health care professional that spends more than half an hour in discussion with the patient with in depth history taking and careful questioning.
2. A reputable Internet site or other scientific reference source.
3. An advertisement ripped out of a magazine, preferably containing the words "miracle", "amazing" and "new." If there is a picture of a B-list celebrity on the advertisement that is better still.
4. A web-site containing the words "amazing", "new" or "miracle". The site gets more kudos still if it refers to lost Amazonian tribesmen or ancient eastern wisdom.
5. The recommendation of a friend or relative, unless they are a health professional. In that case the advice falls to position 1.
6. The recommendation of a vague friend or relative, e.g. your sister's son-in-law's mother's uncle's brother's friend from high schools sister.
7. A piece of paper with the name of the product written on it, usually incorrectly spelled. The holder of the paper will maintain that the name is spelled correctly, even when they can't remember where they heard the name, or who told them the name.
8. Something overheard on a bus or train, or possibly in the hairdressers.
So the leading source of health advice that people listen to is an overheard conversation between complete strangers. This advice will override anything any health professional ever tells them.
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