Stepping on my “soap box” this morning to remind you of the importance of checking the sources of information out there, especially on the internet. Okay, this may seem obvious, but it is more important than ever these days. We need to look no further that this past Presidential Election in the US to view the slew of information we receive and how important it is to weed the “tabloid” sources out from the facts.
We are flooded with information 24/7, and it is often very hard to distinguish fact from fiction. I argue it is getting harder and harder. I was glad to hear last week that even a big social media source announced it would crack down harder on advertising from unreliable sources going forward. The world of nutrition is one of the most important places to really check your facts and sources.
Here are a few hints to help you weed out the “muck” and find the real science:
1st – scroll to the bottom of the article, is the source of the information one you recognize? For example, a university, or accredited scientific source (Mayo Clinic, University of…etc..). FYI, Wikipedia and Web MD are not always the most accurate sites. IF NOT, then disregard the article.
2nd – Look for clues in the article itself like: is a scientific study quoted/referenced. If so, can you find that article or source if you searched separately for it using your search engine. IF NOT, then question the validity of the information.
3rd – If it is a study or research, how may participants were included? It makes a big difference if 10 people were in the study verses 10,000. If the study sample is small, be weary and look for more sources of larger studies with the same conclusions.
4th – Finally, who funded the study? We have seen cases where a study was funded by a company and the results were bias to that companies’ product. Not saying this always happens, but be skeptical. A true scientific study should not have a bias.
Finally, on a slightly different subject… did you know that Professional Nutrition Coaching are required to keep a current certification? No only did we go through extensive testing to earn our certification, but we are required to continue our education and recertify on a regular basis. This allows us to keep up with the changes and new findings in science and stay current with accurate knowledge and information.
I hope this information is helpful and can be useful across the board with all the headlines you read in the media. It is important to dig a little to investigate a source before believing everything you read. Stepping of the soap box now.