Commend Tech Giant’s Promotion of Public Health Knowledge

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Target: Google Inc.

Goal: Thank Google for promoting public health awareness via search results

Promoting improved public health requires, in addition to legal regulations and government programs, increased awareness of the health issues. Most foods require packaging listing relevant nutritional information, for example, and several major cities also demand that restaurants include this information on menus. Tech sector giant Google Inc, recognizing the importance of making this information widely available, recently announced that it will include detailed nutritional information in its search functions for more than 1,000 foods.

As ThinkProgress notes, “[this] isn’t the first time that Google has modified its core services… to promote public health.” Google searches containing the word “suicide,” for example, automatically include contact information for the national suicide hotline above all other results. ThinkProgress also cites studies indicating a significant connection between consumers’ nutritional content knowledge and lowered rates of obesity. Loureiro, Yen, and Nayga’s 2012 article in Agricultural Economics emphatically notes this correlation, concluding that “health education campaigns can employ nutritional labels as one of the instruments for reducing obesity.” As the world’s most widely-used search engine, Google has an unparalleled opportunity to provide useful health and dietary information to hundreds of millions of daily users.

Thank Google for its efforts to promote public health awareness in its widely-used search platforms and encourage them to continue using their platform in a socially and globally-conscious manner.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Google,

As the United States struggles to promote better public health, research consistently indicates that improved access to objective nutritional information significantly reduces obesity rates. One study, by Loureiro, Yen, and Nayga (2012), concludes that “nutritional labels [are] one of the instruments for reducing obesity,” with most food packaging required to provide extensive information.

Google’s recent announcement that it will include this information in its widely-used search results is an exceptional extension of such efforts. As the world’s most widely-used search engine, the provision of nutritional information for food-related searches will reach hundreds of millions of users daily, increasing public awareness of collective and individual consumption.

Thank you for your continued efforts to promote public health awareness.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

photo credit: Slashme via Wikimedia Commons

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