Where should you go for up-to-the-minute health and nutrition advice, news and opinions? How about Twitter?
The popular social media platform might seem like a strange place to look for expert advice on nutrition, health and overall wellness, but thousands of health-focused researchers and writers are using Twitter to share 140-character tips, news, recipes and more — and many are happy to answer questions one-on-one if you’ve got something to ask.
Here are 10 health writers who will liven up your Twitter feed.
Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and five other books that explore issues of food and sustainability, tweets about food safety legislation, news and opinion about genetically modified foods, and other tidbits that can help you be more conscious about what’s on your plate.
Lisa Cain, also known as “Snack Girl,” writes a popular blog that serves up tips for healthy, low-calorie snacking. She uses her Twitter account to share links to both her own recipes and those she finds across the web, and to spotlight some of the most unhealthy snack foods she’s spotted. 2012’s worst pick? Hershey’s strawberry-flavored milkshake drink, weighing in with 10 teaspoons of sugar in a single serving.
Mark Bittman, a longtime food writer for The New York Times, has shifted from writing recipes to writing about food policy and developing more environmentally sustainable eating habits. His tweets include thoughts on local eating, obesity and public policy, and links to recipes for veggie-heavy dishes.
Patricia Fitzgerald, wellness editor at The Huffington Post, is a registered nutritionist and homeopathic doctor. Her tweets include links to nutritional studies, thoughts on eating a healthy diet and tips on acupuncture.
David Kessler, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and former dean of the medical schools at Yale University and the University of California, San Francisco, is focused on putting an end to obesity. His book “The End of Overeating,outlines the causes of America’s obesity crisis, and provides valuable solutions for controlling your diet. On Twitter, he links to new research on obesity and how other countries are approaching the issue.
Tara Parker-Pope is editor of The New York Times’ “Well” blog, which focuses on health news and research. Her NYT handle is a stream of links to the articles on the site; she also shares her own musings on pop culture and other topics at @taraparkerpope.
Stephanie Quilao, a blogger who owns a health-related app company, writes about her own 40-pound weight loss and shares tips for healthy eating and exercise. On Twitter, she shares her meal ideas, links to nutrition-focused articles, and interacts with friends and fans.
André Picard, public health reporter at Canada’s The Globe and Mail newspaper, shares links to useful tips on staying healthy as well as entertaining topics such as “11 Bizarre Ways They Treated the Flu in the Olden Days.” He’s a great source for news and commentary on controversial topics such as flu shots and euthanasia.
Ivan Oransky, executive editor of Reuters Health, shares links to health research and news, as well as stories from his own blog, “Retraction Watch,” which reports on studies that have been retracted. He’s a staunch advocate for transparency and strong ethics in health journalism.
Dr. Jim Sears, a pediatrician, has contributed to the Sears family’s series of childhood health books and is co-host of TV’s “The Doctors.” On Tuesdays, he responds to medical questions on Twitter; the rest of the time, he uses the platform to share family anecdotes and links to health-focused articles.