Health buzzwords like ‘protein’, ‘paleo’ and ‘organic’ are used by marketers as key selling points for many of today’s health products. Yet these words can also trick consumers into believing a product is healthier than it really is.
As health writers, we focus a lot of our energy on knowledge. We write ‘how to’ articles about eating better, exercising more, breaking bad habits, making healthy choices and reducing risk factors. We offer knowledge – but, we rarely sell the desire to change.
This is a question that comes up often in my course groups. And, it’s reasonable and natural to worry about time. Time is money. The less time you spend writing, the more money you make. The more time you spend researching, writing, reviewing and refining, the more your hourly rate drops.
As health writers, we need to recognise and understand the social factors that limit health literacy so we can help our readers understand our health information. We can do this by looking at the key outcomes from a range of health literacy research into both local and global communities.
As health writers, we need to identify the ideal medium to share our key messages to our target audience to ensure our writing influences health outcomes.
While quality medical evidence underlies accurate health writing, clear writing helps the information translate easily – enter the concept of ‘processing fluency’.
Health risk information is better received when you ask your readers to identify their own values and beliefs before communicating the risks.
Could understanding more about selective exposure help us write engaging content? One study looked at how selective exposure influences attitudes towards health behaviours.
New research provides insight into how we can help high-school students understand health information and make better-informed health decisions.
A study recently published in the Journal of Health Communication has looked at warning labels on cigarette packages in the Netherlands.
Digital educational interventions play a huge role in helping to educate community members outside the boundaries of traditional clinical care.
You can read hundreds of blog posts full of tips on how to improve your writing, but this post is about getting real with practical exercises.
Wising up is about helping your readers to understand why they should care.
Adding more detail is a small yet significant tweak that helps to improve the quality of your writing.
If we want our readers to not only understand our content but also act on it, then we need to know more about how behaviour change works.