The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Getting By


October 31, 2018

Do you feel bombarded by health information and not sure whether to believe it or not? It comes at us from all directions—written, electronic and verbally. But how do we know the good from the bad? Take into consideration the source—who wrote it, when did they say it and how did they know. Is it a health organization, hospital, government branch, a university or a business? Quality is also important such as if the source has an editorial board or if it is reviewed before it is published or posted?

According to, if you do not know who wrote it or cannot find any background or experience about the author, you should think about trashing it. If the sources listing the information are selling something, are not clearly related to the information or information about the funding or sponsoring group is not provided, consider trashing it. If sources of the facts are listed, think about trusting it.

Consider when it was written—is the information current? If it seems out of date based on other information you have read or know about or, if a date is not included, then you want to think about trashing it.

How does the source know or how did they obtain the information? If the medical information is based on the research of many people then it may be trusted. If it is based on an individual’s opinion or individual experience, then consider trashing it. If there are no other sources with the same information and it may seem too good to be true, it may be. If the information matches multiple other sources, then consider trusting it. There could also be a consideration of trusting information that is new, cutting edge research.

Health-related websites can be a great resource but you cannot believe everything you read. Sites which are managed by the government (.gov), a college or university (.edu) and non-profit organizations (.org) are usually reliable sources of health information. However, you still need to consider the information included about who, when and how they know the information?

Remember that information you find on websites and other materials does not replace your medical provider’s advice. Use the information you find to inquire with and learn more from your medical provider. Ask them which sources are reliable and which ones you should avoid.

Additional information is available by contacting Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, or in the Chouteau County Courthouse at 1308 Franklin St in Fort Benton.

Follow us on Facebook @ChouteauCountyExtension to keep up to date on what is happening in Chouteau County Extension and 4-H.

Montana State University, US Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.


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