Can YouTube help with healthy nutrition?

By Felipe Daun, PhD Student of Nutrition in Public Health, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

YouTube has already been established as an important communication tool (ABEDIN, et al., 2015; FROSSARD; DIAS, 2016), however scientific investigations about its application are rare, especially in Brazil. Therefore, researchers from the University of São Paulo (USP, Universidade de São Paulo) decided to create a channel for production of nutrition content for YouTube, to investigate the use of the platform in the field of nutrition and health, and to provide important information for the Internet users, in a simple and attractive way.

Conceived as a university extension project, the channel was created in 2013, and now have more than 30 videos produced. The first results of the research were published in the recent paper of the Brazilian Journal of Nutrition (Vol. 31, No. 3), “Educational videos with nutritional approach in YouTube”, bringing the impact of the first videos over a period of two years.

Source: USParódia.

Figure 1. YouTube Channel Logo

Researchers not only highlight the significant number of hits, about 80,000 only in the range studied and more than 200,000 currently, but also the ability of the videos to retain public attention. The public not only accesses, but also keeps watching, allowing educational messages regarding nutrition to be transmitted in an appropriate way. Among the topics covered in the videos, those on “popular diets” were shown to be of greater public interest, with more access and longer viewing time. However, the videos have the most diverse topics, from ultraprocessed foods to infant feeding.

“Considering the vastness of the internet today, at first these results may not be so encouraging, but when you consider that it is about the reach of health content and still produced with deep scientific support in a university, it is promising”, says the nutritionist Felipe Daun, author of the article and creator of the project.

All videos are produced by nutrition students at the University of São Paulo, who see in the channel an opportunity to develop skills that are not common in the nutrition course. However, such skills can contribute greatly to a professional career, since the production of the videos involves the entire process of “translating” scientific information into a language accessible to the majority of the population.

“Knowing how to talk about nutrition today is not easy, there is a lot of information available and a lot of wrong information is available. So here is an opportunity to experience this and dealing with something that will be fundamental for the whole life of a nutritionist. ”

The development of this work is opening the door for further investigation of the relationship between Internet communication platforms and population health, which promises to elucidate how to talk about health with the next generations. The videos, which remain in constant production, can be accessed on YouTube and have English subtitles.


ABEDIN, T., et al. YouTube as a source of useful information on diabetes foot care. Diabetes Res Clin Pract [online]. 2015, vol. 110, no. 1, e1-e4, ISSN: 0168-8227 [viewed 29 October 2018]. DOI: 10.1016/j.diabres.2015.08.003. Available from:

FROSSARD, V.C. and DIAS, M.C.M. The impact of internet on patients interaction: new scenarios in health. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2016, vol. 20, no. 57, pp. 349-361, ISSN: 1414-3283 [viewed 29 October 2018]. DOI: 10.1590/1807-57622014.1334. Available from:

To read the article, access it

DAUN, F. and GAMBARDELLA, A.M.D. Educational videos with nutritional approach in YouTube. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2018, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 339-349, ISSN: 1415-5273 [viewed 29 October 2018]. DOI: 10.1590/1678-98652018000300007. Available from:

External links

Revista de Nutrição – RN: <>

USParódia <>


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

DAUN, F. Can YouTube help with healthy nutrition? [online]. SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases, 2018 [viewed ]. Available from:


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  1. Pingback: Projeto de divulgação científica da FSP USP é tema de notícia na Plataforma Cielo – Faculdade de Saúde Pública da USP

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