Facebook recently tweaked its algorithm - the thing that really runs our lives - to discourage clickbait style headlines.

You know the ones I mean. "This one simple makeup trick will take 10 years off!" "What happened next is hard to believe!" Facebook says we should now see fewer of these, in direct response to user feedback.

This is great news. Because in the world of health and nutrition, these headlines are rife. How many promises to "shrink your belly" have you seen? How many "miracle" foods and supplements?

So far, though, I am yet to see less clickbait in my feeds.


Yesterday a classic popped up: "Are You Ignoring the 6 Common Signs of Wheat Intolerance?"

This is from a site called What's with Wheat. The article starts: "Many people instinctively know they are intolerant to wheat, because of the occasional bloating or fatigue they feel as a result of eating food containing gluten, although they usually ignore it.

"What they may not realise is that it could be causing more issues."

It goes on to explain, in terms that make it sound as if every human being is wheat intolerant, that your headache, mouth ulcer or bad mood is probably because of gluten.

And right there it sets us up to panic. There is no mention of any of the other reasons these things may occur and plenty of fodder for the conspiracy theorist and assertions that "they" don't want you to know the truth about wheat.

I think it's unlikely the world's food companies are conspiring to make us unhealthy via wheat. But that's not my concern here.

It's rather that these kinds of stories make us feel anxious, whether or not we have cause to be.

Consider another article: "5 signs you might not be as healthy as you think!" This from "I Quit Sugar", where there are many pieces in a similar vein.

This one says: "You regularly exercise, eat plenty of veg and you can't remember the last time you had the flu. And yet sometimes, you get a niggling feeling that something isn't right."

And there it is: the doubt and worry. Yes, I do eat well and exercise. Yes, I stay well. But maybe I don't always feel 100 per cent?

Maybe I don't have a perfect diet? Maybe I need to be more perfect?

This kid of cynical clickbait directly targets anxious but otherwise healthy people: the worried well.

Worried that you're not feeling super-duper-on-top-of-the-world every second of the day?

Well here's a secret: no one does.

And worrying about being healthier, to the point that it is causing you anxiety, may be just as unhealthy as not giving a toss.

There's a very good chance you don't need to give up gluten or sugar or dairy or [insert demon food here].

Don't be sucked in by people telling you you're not healthy enough unless you do this.

Tune in to your commonsense. Turn away from the screen, take a breath and relax.