How Do I Understand Nutrition Science?
Nutrition is science. Nutrition is not a diet. Repeat those two phrases three times over and open your web browser. You’ll find that a lot of the information you read online associates nutrition and dieting, not nutrition and science. Sure, nutrition science can be translated into a nutrition lifestyle, but most of the time, diets are marketed to you before there is any science supporting them.
Check out this article written by a credible dietitian and published by The Washington Post last Tuesday discussing the skeptics of online nutrition information
The bad news: Blog posts from unqualified individuals, advertisements, and gimmicky diets wanting you to latch on like a leech are rampant on the internet. What do you believe? Where do you turn? Where is the science? Unfortunately, the majority of internet nutrition content is made to target hopeful and vulnerable dieters, offering a slew of unproven benefits that follow the next “big” diet created with big dollar signs in mind.
The good news: There are many professionals who dedicate much of their time to debunking nutritional myths within their local communities but not many who dare to enter the world-wide social media space in fear of backlash and potential lawsuits. Needless to say, there are some extraordinarily brave souls; people (with more knowledge than you may have on this subject) who want to do the right thing for other people.
A professor of surgery and managing editor of Science-Based Medicine and SciBabe from Detroit, David Gorski, has spent a considerable amount of time debunking information from the Food Babe (Vani Hari). The Biggest Loser’s bad press and eventual shutdown was led by James Fell, who exposed the mentally and physically harmful dieting and exercise methods used in the show. The skeptic of Goop, Timothy Caulfield, a professor and director at the University of Alberta, wrote an entire book on the falsities associated with Gwyneth Paltrow’s nutrition advice. These are a just few of the skeptics of nutritional bogus that have gained popularity based on their pure, driven soul to educate consumers on the science of nutrition globally.
Yvette d’Entremont (SciBabe) elaborated on this subject: “Where there’s a huge magnitude of bad info, there needs to be a huge magnitude of good info coming out to counter it.” The internet offers a magnitude of information about everything, literally, and if you do not have the education to understand the truthful science behind the nutrition information provided, then pseudoscience can be appealing.
As nutrition gets more complicated, Caulfield said the “scientific community has a responsibility to make sure information is translated clearly. Things like unproven stem cell therapy, genetic testing or detox diets are hard to debunk for people with no background in science.”
The skeptics of online nutrition information often receive backlash via hate mail, lawsuits and personal safety threats. Why do they put themselves in such a vulnerable situation? James Fell explained his passion: “I want to expose scientifically why this bunk is all wrong, and I want to give people good advice instead. We want dialogue and want people to be critical thinkers.” Gorski added to this by explaining that “being a skeptic is about more than debunking. It’s about promoting science and reason. As a team, debunkers are creating a movement that reminds people not to believe everything they read.”
You should be on the lookout for a few things to learn how to debunk mythical nutrition.
- “Too good to be true” or “miracle” cures for a long list of medical ailments – you can’t buy a miracle, last time I checked.
- Lacking peer-reviewed research noted, even when they use the word “science.”
- Money is involved for a “program” that does not include credentialed professionals.
- Be weary of peer-reviewed research that has been promoted by the company who funds the research.
This article reiterates exactly what we are trying to accomplish with MynutritioniQ.com. We strive to be a sound nutrition information platform that is easily accessible to everyone, everywhere.
Check out the original post here.
If you are interested to hear more and receive personalized nutrition, check out STYR’s app, fitness tracker and suite of connected smart devices. Through the platform, you can track and log activity, food, hydration, sleep, nutrition, mood and more to personalize your nutrition needs based on data, science and access to registered dietitians, nutritionists and personal trainers.
Please note that this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We insist that you always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical/health condition or treatment and before initiating a new health care regime. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the STYR app or on www.MyNutritioniQ.com.