Do you feel confused and overwhelmed at the large amount of nutrition information and media out there? This webinar is for you! We will walk you through the importance of evidence-based science, how to validate different media sources, and how to read nutrition research articles like a pro!
Intern Courtney provided copies of her notes regarding the studies we discussed in the webinar.
- Find her notes on the “nutrition news” articles we reviewed here.
- Find her notes on one of the scientific articles we reviewed here.
I’ve already had feedback from participants about how they liked it and what they learned. Here are some of the highlights:
- “Thank you for all the information, the class went by much too fast.”
- “Thank you! Following your “steps” to evaluate an article is invaluable!”
- “This was so good to have comparison articles.”
- “Not all sources are evidence & science based nutrition sites; you must do your homework.”
- “a lot of information on web, tv and magazines are marketing tools and not facts. I also learned surprising information regarding studies.”
If you don’t want to have to listen to the entire 1 hour webinar, here is the cliff notes version of what we discussed!
First of all, it’s important for you to understand what I know about most of the “nutrition news” that you read:
Yep! My experience is that most of what I see on typical news sites and social media feeds, along with most of the questions my clients ask after reading those, is that most of it is not based on much, if any, scientific evidence whatsoever.
Signs of a “bad” nutrition news article:
- Makes a sensational claim from only one study
- Isn’t specific about study details
- “click bait” (i.e. “NEVER EAT THIS ONE FOOD” type statement that requires you to click to read more)
- If claim is not specific enough (i.e. lumping all types of cancer together)
- Anything which sounds too good to be true and/or claims doing one thing can make a huge benefit
Signs of a “good” nutrition news article:
- References and links
- Study population details
- Multiple studies and references
- States the study limitations
- Published in a reputable news source, author, or journal which has a peer-review editing system
In order to prioritize your decision making around food and nutrition, and to eliminate the feelings of overwhelm regarding all the “nutrition news” that you read, focus your energy on following Evidence-Based Nutrition Guidelines.
So of course, you’re left wondering…. what exactly is “Evidence-Based Nutrition” or “Evidence-Based Medicine?”
Simply put (from the Dictionary!), it is:
An approach to medicine that emphasizes the practical application of the findings of the best available current research.
The Oregon Science Institute defines it as:
A practice rigorously evaluated in experimental evidence – like randomized controlled trials – and shown to make a positive, statistically significant difference in important outcomes.https://www.ori.org/resources/what_does_it_mean_to_be_evidencebased
Although all medicine based on science has some degree of credibility, Evidence-Based Medicine goes further.
Evidence based medicine:
- Emphasizes well-designed and well-conducted research
- Ranks evidence by its strength and requiring that only the strongest types can yield strong recommendations; weaker types can yield only weak recommendations.
- Stronger science – comes from meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and randomized controlled trials
- Weaker science – comes from observational studies, case-control studies, etc.
From a practical standpoint, evidence-based means experts from all over have tested the practice and have deemed it the gold standard based on the current available data.
This is key because it’s not just one person’s opinion, or one research study. It’s a consensus of experts reviewing all available research, eliminating the studies that weren’t well designed and coming up with guidelines that are based on multiple studies showing similar results.
Evidence based guidelines are much better sources of nutrition guidance than any one research study, and certainly better than one person’s opinion. Even if that person is an expert!
Just because someone is a “doctor” does NOT make them an expert in nutrition! (TAKE NOTE – DR OZ!!). All expert opinions should be backed up by solid science, and ideally some evidence based recommendations.
In fact, while all dietitians have to go through the same training, some of us utilize more evidence-based practice than others and you should always double check people’s references when they are sharing information. Even mine!
Never take any headline or nutrition news story at face value. ALWAYS do your homework BEFORE you forward, share or tell someone else what you read.
Here are your essential 4 steps before sharing:
Evidence Based Guidelines for Cancer Risk Reduction & Survivorship
Yes – there are evidence based nutrition guidelines for cancer risk reduction, and you should definitely know what they are! Be sure you are familiar with these three resources:
- AICR 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations – https://www.aicr.org/cancer-prevention/
- American Cancer Society Guideline for Diet and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention – https://www.cancer.org/healthy/eat-healthy-get-active/acs-guidelines-nutrition-physical-activity-cancer-prevention.html
- National Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention Overview – https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/patient-prevention-overview-pdq
Here are some other articles you might find helpful:
- Nutrition Research and Mass Media article by Harvard – https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/media-full-story/
- Back to the Basics. The Cancer Dietitian Nutrition Philosophy! – https://cancerdietitian.com/2019/04/back-to-the-basics-the-cancer-dietitian-nutrition-philosophy.html
- How to Read Nutrition News Without Losing Your Mind! – https://cancerdietitian.com/2018/08/how-not-to-lose-your-mind-over-the-latest-nutrition-headlines.html
Keep Calm. Eat Your Veggies. Watch my Webinars!
I hope you join me again in one of my future classes! Find all the sign up links here!