For those who live to eat, one of the beauties of the Internet is the wealth of delicious recipes that can be discovered with such ease. According to comScore Media Metrix, 39 million Americans visited food Web sites in July 2006, up 23% from a year earlier. FoodNetwork.com claims the top spot among all food Web sites in the US, capitalizing on its TV popularity and developing deeper relationships with its viewers. The McDonalds Web site soared into the second spot behind FoodNetwork.com, not because of its sophisticated cuisine, but simply because they had an online promotion with the Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

 

Food Web sites have, of course, expanded beyond just recipe databases and are developing a strong social networking element. The ability to swap recipes and share experiences is allowing "foodies" to connect like never before. Affluent females are a popular demographic segment among food site visitors, according to comScore.

Perhaps it is too easy? If you have overindulged, never fear, the Internet also has a wealth of information about how to lose weight. Most of it is untrue and contradictory of course, but, as with all information on the Internet, that is for you to judge.

However, here is one free tip: If the word "diet" is in any of the literature you choose to read, then take the information with a pinch of salt. (But go easy on the salt.)

Data from comScore indicate that 62% of weight-loss researchers look for information on specific programs and diets online, while a 51% of researchers look to offline resources for this information. When seeking information on weight-loss drugs, 39% of researchers turn to the Internet.