Health and wellness website Verywell is applying the same review process to its lifestyle and wellness content that it does for its medical content.
Many health sites have medical review boards, doctors and experts who ensure stories are medically correct, but fewer apply the same rigor to wellness, diet, exercise and lifestyle content.
Verywell has established a wellness review board that includes subject area experts such as a dietitian, personal trainer, running coach, yoga instructor and psychotherapist to vet its wellness content.
“The wellness landscape in general can be tough to navigate; there are so many mixed messages when it comes to diet and exercise, and it’s hard to know what’s credible what is science-backed,” said Rachel Berman, GM at Verywell. “We wanted to make sure our wellness content about diet, exercise, mental health and parenting was held to the same standard we have with the medical, condition-based content.”
Although wellness content often touches on health topics, like the best diet for people with diabetes, Berman said it would not make sense for a doctor to review recipes. However, those articles also need to be grounded in science, and that’s where the wellness board comes in.
Verywell editorial director Emily Rose said adding an expert review process can lend credibility to content from wellness influencers.
“Healthy food and exercise bloggers and influencers are good at Instagram and might be compelling about the topic, but they are not experts,” Rose said. “We want to make sure experts are always part of the conversation.”
Berman added that wellness content isn’t vetted similarly on every health website. Most credible health portals will speak with an expert or influencer for wellness stories, but there often isn’t an extra layer of review by an independent expert before they go online.
“[The board] is going to further enhance our voice and what we put out in the market as being very credible all across Verywell, not just medical and condition-based content,” Berman said. “Something else these experts add is they have experience. It’s not just a young person researching the topic and writing about facts they find on the internet. We’re adding that layer of credibility from someone who might have just seen a patient who was struggling with a diabetes diet. That adds a relatable feel that is very true to Verywell.”
Verywell, which has about 40 million monthly users, according to Comscore, has three wellness websites: Verywell Fit, Verywell Mind and Verywell Family, along with condition-focused property Verywell Health. The wellness content ranges from dieting and exercise to mindfulness and stress to pregnancy and parenting.