Two featured snippets that appeared in Google search results earlier this week claimed that there are health benefits from eating glass. This is not true. Swallowing sharp objects, including pieces of glass, is potentially dangerous.
Featured snippets are an automated function of Google that include potentially helpful extracts from a webpage in response to a search term. Google says that its automated systems “are designed not to show featured snippets that don’t follow our policies”, but says it also manually removes some snippets following reports from users.
When Full Fact searched on Google on 13 and 14 November 2023 for the phrase “what are the health benefits of eating glass” and “health benefits of eating glass” (both without quote marks), it produced one of two highlighted snippets taken from a website about artificial intelligence (AI) called Emergent Mind.
One said: “But perhaps the biggest benefit of eating glass is its ability to aid in weight loss. Because it is non-nutritive, it passes through the body without providing any calories. This means that you can enjoy the crunchy texture of glass without worrying about it contributing to weight gain.”