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Before Google existed, you used to have to call a friend or family member to get medical advice if you didn’t want to consult with your doctor about a minor issue. With the technology available now, the only thing you need to do is open up your web browser and type what you need to know about the infamous Dr. Google. Up pops more information than you will ever need right at your fingertips. Knowing how powerful Google can be, let’s examine what the most popular searches were for 2017.

Google search barThe most popular health-related questions were inquiring about opioids, addiction, and the hit Netflix Series 13 Reasons why. Data that was gathered from the beginning of the year until the middle of December of 2017 showed that the ketogenic diet was a popular term for the year, getting searched four times more than last year. The ketogenic diet is based on the concept of eating a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates to cause the body to burn fat faster in the process known as ketosis. The diet was originally developed in the 1920’s for the treatment of epilepsy.

Opioids likely increased in popularity among the general population because of headlines in October giving information about the “opioid epidemic.” The data revealed that more than two million Americans depended on substances currently, causing President Trump to say “Nobody has seen anything like what is going on now” and declare the crisis a public health emergency. The end result was a high number of searches for “what is opioid addiction?”

The next topic is 13 Reasons Why released by Netflix. Selena Gomez was an executive producer on the series. The series is based on the debut novel from author Jay Asher, and it tells the story of a young teen who commits suicide. She leaves behind a collection of tapes for her classmates to listen to telling her story in detail. It was controversial due to the idea that it romanticized suicide and claims from mental health experts say it could be triggering to people with suicidal tendencies. The show’s popularity led to a number of searches regarding suicide prevention and awareness. Selena Gomez likely inspired another popular search of “what is lupus” after she recently revealed that she had a kidney transplant after battling for over two years with the autoimmune condition. Some other searches that ranked high included “what is ADHD?” “how to stop snoring” and “what causes hiccups?”

If you’re only looking for topics related to “why” instead of “what” you’ll discover that 13 Reasons Why prevailed in searches. It was followed by a wide range of topics including “why is the roof of my mouth sore?”, “why is addiction a disease?”, and “why is apple cider vinegar good for you?” Who knows what will be the search-worthy topics will be in 2018. Only time will tell.

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Completed her undergraduate business education at Stanford before receiving an MBA from USC. Samantha has worked in business administration for 15 years and travels the country giving seminars and writing posts about business strategies.