With the rise of social media and the wealth of content available on the internet at our fingertips, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know who and what to believe, especially when it comes to nutrition. Nutrition is such a personal topic that polarises people because of their experiences. As humans, we love to share our experiences! This means that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there amongst the true, scientific evidence. This can be overwhelming for the public and brands to decipher. How do you know if the information is credible? Here are our quick tips.
1. Who is it coming from?
In the nutrition field, those that have undergone rigorous scientific degrees, including research components are researchers, registered dietitians and registered nutritionists. This means you would see one of the following in their name: pHD, RD, rNutr, aNutr or Dr. Their training means that they know how to perform and understand quality research, and are bound by a code of practice to share evidence-based information. Bloggers, wellness influencers, journalists, naturopaths, homeopathic doctors and anyone on the internet likely haven’t done this training. This isn’t to say that everything these people share is not credible, just that they are not as reliable of a source as those mentioned earlier.
2. Where is it coming from?
The clear winner here is if you find information straight from a research paper. While not all research is top quality, you are likely to find better information here than anywhere else. Learning to decipher which research is the best quality is more of a skill, one we cover in our Food Brand Nutrition Crash Course. The next best place to find information is by following social media accounts for the credible sources mentioned above and also the Journals themselves. Little bites of information from the newest research are often shared by professionals on Twitter and Instagram. Social media is not the place to find information in most other cases! Unless someone is credible or sharing a point and linking to research to back it up, be wary of anything you see on social media. The same goes for Google and articles!
3. What is it saying?
This last point just comes down to logic. Nutrition and health isn’t that complicated but there aren’t many miracle solutions out there. If the statement is making bold, ground-breaking claims that you haven’t heard before, there is a high chance that it is false. Use logic and think about the likelihood of x magnificently curing y or x suddenly causing rapid weight loss. Bold claims are bold for a reason!