Health advice column Dolly Doctor in teen magazine Dolly dished out "100% accurate" health advice, surpassing even magazines with the word "health" in their titles, a University of Newcastle study of more than 160 articles has found.
The section answered some pretty insane questions: whether waterskiing without a wetsuit ruined your ovaries, whether it was OK to love your cousin, and the timeless dilemma "Should I spit or swallow?".
The researchers bought copies of every edition of 10 Australian magazines published between July 1 and December 31, 2011 and studied articles and columns that provided health advice.
Most of the articles responded to female sexual or gynaecological matters like urinary tract infections, followed by vitamin and mineral supplements, and then heart disease and cancer, the study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health found.
The best articles would recommend seeing a doctor (if applicable), base advice on accepted medical practice or reliable evidence and avoid "disease mongering", the study found.
Dolly trumped Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, New Idea, Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Women’s Health, Girlfriend, Men’s Health and Good Health.
Dolly's advice was accurate all of the time, but Women's Health was accurate just 26% of the time, Woman's Day 33% of the time and Good Health 37% of the time.
So who is Dolly Doctor?
She's Australian GP, medical researcher, and associate professor at the University of Sydney, Melissa Kang, who must be feeling very smug right now.
Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Gina Rushton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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