I did a nutrition seminar at the beginning of the month and one of the questions I got really made me stop and think. I was talking about the plethora of misinformation available in the media when it comes to nutrition and was asked, “Where would you suggest we go to look for good information?” I really had to take a second and think about it. Was there one place on the internet that I really trusted to get it all right? Was there one place I could feel comfortable sending these people to get additional information? Unfortunately, I really couldn’t think of anything.
I told this individual the best resources right now are peer-reviewed journal articles, but even then, you have to really know how to read them. You need to be able to understand whether the population and study methods can be applied to the general population. Is the population large enough? Is this a human or animal study? Was there a placebo/control group? Was the study blinded? Is the data enough on its own? Are there other studies on this topic that agree? Does more research need to be done to confirm the findings? There are SO many things that need to be taken into consideration even when reading scientific articles, let alone these clickbait titles linked to articles that we find on social media. Most of the time, if a clickbait article is in fact linked to a credible journal article, it is common for the author to only select information from the article that confirms their bias rather than reporting the whole picture.
Honestly, as far as a website, the place that is deciphering the data is The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and this is where you’ll find more evidence-based guidelines and suggestions of best practices.
I reflected back on a blog post that I wrote around this time last year titled, Who Do You Trust? In this post, I pretty much went off on the health and fitness industry and the issues that I saw with those that are just trying to make a quick buck by selling this or that product without knowing how or why it works or those that are trying to lay out a one-size fits all plan without proper education. I’m not sure exactly what triggered that post last April, but all I can say is that there must have been something because there was some passion behind that one.
Ideally, people should be seeking professional advice when it comes to nutrition, and anything health related for that matter. We are continuing to find that nutrition has such a huge impact on our health therefore it should be taken seriously. If you’re sick, and this illness has implications on your future wellbeing, you don’t just go see anyone, you go see a doctor! Nutrition shouldn’t be any different.
To be honest, there’s a lot more to this post that I typed and then deleted. I could go on and on about how I feel about legal protections for Registered Dietitians, fitness influencers promoting crazy diets and weight loss products, and the poorly formulated health articles out there. But that just gets a little out of control and may even turn into more opinion than you may care to hear.
I will say, please consider a professional when you’re thinking about your health. Unfortunately, quality care doesn’t come cheap, but think about how much money you’ll save in the long run by taking care of yourself now.
If you have questions or concerns regarding health, nutrition, or fitness and want to know if you’re on the right path, please reach out. I’m more than happy to answer questions and point you in the right direction.