Nutrition and the Media
The media – especially the Internet, popular women’s magazines and TV shows – are filled with contradictory stories and reports on nutrition including which foods are healthy and which ones aren’t, whether is good to take dietary supplements or not, the best diets for weight loss, muscle building, etc. To make things worse, many of these reports are based on scientific evidence. As a result, it’s no wonder that so many people are confused about whom to trust and whose advice to follow.
Study Finds Conflicting Media Reports on Nutrition Very Dangerous
A study on the conflicting media reports on nutrition that was conducted a couple of years ago confirmed what many experts have been pointing out to for quite some time – they are making consumers highly uncertain about their dietary choices. It’s indeed very confusing after being confronted with so many conflicting tips and advices on a virtually daily basis, especially when it comes to weight loss diets and foods such as coffee, eggs, butter, bacon and wine, to mention just a few.
According to the researchers who conducted the study, it is particularly concerning that many people who find the information about healthy nutrition confusing are more likely to disregard expert recommendations rather than advice by their favourite magazine/TV show. And this also counts for foods and eating plans for which there is no doubt that they are good for health and disease prevention. To make things worse, there have been even cases of people ceasing to take prescription drugs and by doing so, putting themselves in grave danger.
Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong?
So you read conflicting reports on the same issue. How can you tell who’s right and who’s wrong? As much as a growing number of consumers are concerned, no one really knows. But there is better solution than throwing a coin. When you come across conflicting information about something, pay attention to the following:
- Is the report based on the results of a scientific study? If so, how old is the study?
- Is there any other evidence (more scientific studies) that confirms the findings?
- How large was the study?
- Was the study done on humans or animals?
For a report to be considered credible, it should be based on the results of a recently conducted scientific study that was done on humans. The larger was the number of human participants, the more credible are its conclusions. However, one study is not enough to draw any firm conclusions about the question of investigation. It usually takes quite a lot of research to prove a particular claim to be wrong or right.