Why I Like Haagen-Dazs Five (OR, a Model for Assessing and Creating Consumer Health Information)

I Love Ice Cream

I love ice cream. There are a lot of reasons why I shouldn’t, but I do. I use ice cream a lot in my classes. I don’t get to give it away to people, but I talk about it a lot. Ice cream is how I explain the difference between PUBMED and OVID Medline. You see, they both start with the same basic ingredients (milk, cream, sugar, eggs) — that’s the database contents, for the most part the same in both Pubmed and OVID Medline. Then you add customization and special interface features. I used to tell people Pubmed was a pure simple flavor like vanilla, and OVID Medline is a more complex flavor like, perhaps, Rocky Road?

I Love Information Quality Tools

Perhaps it isn’t such a surprise then that I not only like Haagen-Dazs’s new line of flavors, the “Five“, but that I also want to teach with it also!

Haagen-Dazs Five

I’ve been trying for at least a dozen years to come up with easy ways to capture the main characteristics of high quality consumer health information. I started out with a checklist that was pretty complicated – good for research, but not for real people. Then I was asked to translate that into something accessible to high school seniors. That turned into the CHAIN of TRUST tool.

Levels of Evidence, Updated for the Internet

This time, though, it isn’t so much work as either of these. I finally figured out just how simple it can be. Why I like ice cream is the same as why I like certain consumer health information sources. They are both good stuff. Here’s why.

Why I Like …

– It is relevant to me (I like ice cream).
– It comes from a recognized brand or authority.
– It is simple (not too many ingredients, not too few).
– It repeats the basics that have proven themselves over time.
– All the ingredients are high quality.
– It is good for me (or at least better than what I’ve been doing, since it is lower in fat than the usual).
– It satisfies my immediate needs and goals (high in flavor).
– It isn’t confusing (not too many choices).
– It is wide enough in scope and variety to appeal to a variety of people (enough different flavors to respect the Different Strokes for Different Folks mandate).
– It doesn’t have a lot of fancy or distracting packaging
– It supports my making responsible choices (* natural ingredients; * better for the environment; * packaging can be reused or recycled; * lower in fat … )

Haagen-Dazs Five. Gotta love it.


3 responses to “Why I Like Haagen-Dazs Five (OR, a Model for Assessing and Creating Consumer Health Information)

  1. The Five brown sugar flavor is AMAZING. The coffee is pretty good too, and my BF likes the mint. They are all really flavorful, which I like because it means I won’t eat the entire thing in one sitting. 😉


  2. Try asking a medical librarian…they like ice cream too and know a lot about evaluating many databases.


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