Health News Headlines: Facebook's Experiment On Emotions And Social Media

Jul 18, 2014

Credit Marco Pakoeningrat/

Jill Ditmire shares this week's health news headlines. 

Facebook recently conducted an experiment on the emotions of users, without their consent, causing many to question the ethics behind the study. 

Sound Medicine's bioethicist Dr. Meslin explains why he signed a statement published in the journal Nature to defend the value of Facebook's experiment, and why it wasn't unethical. 

"In medical research when using human beings, our federal rules are that if you are an individual participating in a study and your name or identity is known, then it's required to ask for your informed consent so that you won't be misidentified, discriminated against or otherwise exploited," says Dr. Meslin. "In the case of the Facebook study, no one was being identified by name... Informed consent wasn't really required." 

Jill Ditmire also reports on why young children are eating more fruits and vegetables than teenagers. 

"Researchers looked at eating habits of kids, age 2-19. 90 percent of the 2-5 year olds ate fruit daily, but less than half of the teenagers polled did the same, including french fries, which the researchers allowed to be considered as a vegetable in the study," says Ditmire.