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Spain – Between obesity and fitness mania

Anyone who has never Googled their symptoms – raise your hands.

By now it is a known fact: people like to open their favourite search engine and look for answers before calling on the doctor. Every day, at all hours, a multitude asks the internet for advices on the best skin care or the best therapy to cure a disease; but what if there was no one answering on the other side?

The problem arises when on the other side, amidst the oceans of available content, we cannot find an authoritative opinion on medicines and OTC drugs.

The purpose of our research is, therefore, to understand if there truly is an adequate match between the request for information on health topics and the subsequent online offer from pharmaceutical brands and entities. With this purpose in mind, we examined conversations concerning seven main health topics, and compared them with specific keywords related to medicines in order to verify the influence of companies, brands and the pharma world on those topics.

Food has always been at the centre of Spanish life, but recently it has taken on the role of a serious enemy: as reported in 2013 by World Health Organization, more than 60% of the Spanish adult population is overweight and more than 20% is in the obese category.

Nevertheless, lifestyle changes have recently begun to emerge in Spain, and it seems that “mens sana in corpore sano” could become its new motto.

Analysing thousands of online conversations in Spain concerning seven primary health topics and their association with pharmaceutical products and services, we found evidence of a significant growth of interest in these subjects. Online, Spanish users proved to be willing to discuss physical well-being, fitness improvement, and attention to a healthier and more balanced diet.

[December 2017]

 

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