Preprint / Version 1

Digital literacy in health in university students and search of nutrition information




Access to Health Information, Social Networks, Health Literacy


OBJECTIVE: To observe the presence of e-health literacy in university students and analyze their consumption of information about nutrition on social media.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study carried out with university students using a self-completed online questionnaire. The questions comprised sociodemographic and academic information and the e-Health Literacy Scale (eHEALS). The analyzes were performed in statistical software aiming at the correlation between the variables. The calculation of the eHEALS scale was performed through the sum of answers to the questions, so the higher the value observed, the greater the perception of e-health literacy competence of the students.

RESULTS: The study had the participation of 241 undergraduates with a median age of 22.7 years, 73.1% of respondents were female, only 39.3% were students from health centers and 55.4% were between the first and the sixth period of graduation. About 92.1% access social networks daily, with screen time ranging from 2 to 3 hours/day. Among those with greater access to digital media, there was a significant demand for information related to nutrition and health, such as hypertrophy, diets and weight loss. In general, the students showed a favorable e-literacy in health, with the average of students from health centers being higher than that of other courses.

CONCLUSIONS: University students present satisfactory e-health literacy. The students of the biological sciences and health courses demonstrated to have greater digital health literacy than the undergraduates of the other courses. Those with greater access to social networks have a significant interest in looking for topics related to nutrition, such as hypertrophy, eating behavior, diets and weight loss, topics closely linked to aesthetics.


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How to Cite

Santos, L. F. dos, Souza, E. C. G. de, & Kiepper, B. H. D. L. P. (2022). Digital literacy in health in university students and search of nutrition information. In SciELO Preprints.


Health Sciences