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BECOMING

NUTRITION
MYTHBUSTERS
Kristina Cooke / Erin Heidenreich
Keene State College Dietetic
Interns

TODAY WE
WILL...
Identify important parts of nutrition
research
Compare evidence-based research
and nutrition claims presented by
media and determine what is
accurate

What do you think?


Apples taste better than
oranges; therefore, theyre
better for your health.
What assumptions are being
made?
Where is this information coming
from?
What factors can we consider by
analyzing this statement?

PART 1
Identify important parts of
nutrition research

The 5 Ws of a Research Article


WHO
is it funded by?
is it marketed to?
is used in the study, what is their
demographic?

WHERE

WHAT

WHY

.. are the claims being made?


are other factors that might impact the
results?

WHEN
.. was the actual research done? How long
was it?

is the information coming from, is


this source credible?
.. is the information being marketed?

is this information important?


is the author providing this
information?

STEVIA
THE HEALTHIEST SWEETENER?
A Case Study

FACTS
Low calorie
150x sweeter than sugar
Used by ancient tribes
A plant extract
No allergic reactions or side effects
Whole leaf not approved by FDA
Rebaudioside A- part of the plant which is processed and
approved by FDA

SUPPORT
Low calorie
Used by ancient tribes
Natural- a plant extract
No allergic reactions or side effects
Rebaudioside A is approved by FDA
Glycosides: an antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, and more!
No mutagenic or carcinogenic toxic effects
Used to control diabetes and weight
Improved kidney and liver disease

AGAINST
Whole leaf not approved by FDA
May cause cancer
Large amounts of stevia may be unhealthy and
dangerous
Not approved by the FDA as additive or GRAS
(Generally Recognized As Safe)

You Are Now Nutrition


Scientists
On your poster papers, create a nutrition research
project by providing the 5 Ws, and some details to your
nutrition topic.
Get creative! We will then share with the class and
discuss.

PART 2
Compare evidence-based
research and nutrition claims
presented by media

Considerations
Since media
representatives often do
not have a scientific
background, carefully
consider where you get
your information.
Consider:
Qualifications
Misinterpretation of
Information
Bias
https://storps.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/mediaspoonfeeding-cartoon.jpeg

https://www.eatrightpro.org/~/media/eatrightpro
%20files/practice/position%20and%20practice
%20papers/practice%20papers/practice
%20papers/communicating_accurate_food_and_n
ition_information.ashx

Consider
Background
WHO?

Layperson, journalists, blog


writers, Instagram
personalities, app creators,
etc.
Scientific background?
Authors or about us?

Credible references
provided?
Peer-reviewed research
Evidence-based websites
(FDA.gov, USDA.gov,
eatright.org) with links to

http://cision-wp-files.s3.amazonaws.com/us/wpcontent/uploads/2015/01/EU-Media-Futures-Forum-

Misinterpretation of
Findings
Internet information is not
regulated
FTC will regulate advertising
(must be truthful, not
misleading)
Dates of posting and research
provided
Number of evidence-based
sources provided
A credible body of research is
necessary
Sides of research presented
Fact vs. opinion
Conflicts-of-interest clearly stated

http://www.startupist.com/wpcontent/uploads/2015/04/communication-730x386.jpg

Bias
Companies can use tools to pull consumers in:
URL listed first on search engines (does not
ensure credibility)
Polarizing headlines (i.e., Fat is Back)
Owner of publication
Personal beliefs
Association with other organizations
Funding

https://fluidsurveys.com/wpcontent/uploads/2013/08/AVOIDBIAS-

http://www.demondemon.com/wpcontent/uploads/2014/12/Deadly-Facts-Or-Just-

Lets play a game called...

SCIENCE FICTION
OR
SCIENCE FACT

Example: Saturated Fat


Source 1:

Source 2:

Headline:
Everyone Was Wrong: Saturated
Fat Can Be Good For You

Headline:
Saturated Fats: Not So Bad or
Just Bad Science?

Source:
http://greatist.com/health/saturatedfat-healthy

Source:
http://www.todaysdietitian.com/ne
warchives/111114p32.shtml

Author + background:
Nick English
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
Master of Arts in Journalism and
International Relations

Author + background:
Marsha McCulloch, MS, RD, LD
Bachelor of Science in Business
Management
Master of Science in Nutrition

Resources:
Links to Forbes, UCSF.edu,
YouTube, etc.

Resources:
12 research articles, NY Times,
Beefnutrition.org

Example 2: High Protein Diet


Source 1:
Headline:
Are High Protein Diets Safe?
Source:
https://www.biolayne.com/articles/nutriti
on/high-protein-diets-safe/
Author + background:
Layne Norton
PhD in Nutritional Sciences
Resources:
19 research articles from various
journals

Source 2:
Headline:
High-protein diet as bad for health
as smoking
Source:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/scie
nce/science-news/10676877/Highprotein-diet-as-bad-for-health-assmoking.html
Author + background:
Sarah Knapton
History working for The Guardian,
The Telegraph
No educational background provided
Resources: None

Tonight when you


go home...
look at the sources of nutrition
information you turn to, consider
the 5 Ws, and how media may
have skewed the facts.

Questions?

References
https://www.eatrightpro.org/~/media/eatrightpro
%20files/practice/position%20and%20practice
%20papers/practice%20papers/practice
%20papers/communicating_accurate_food_and_n
utrition_information.ashx
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/mediaresources/truth-advertising
https://medlineplus.gov/healthywebsurfing.html