Fight misinformation with the help of a dietitian

You wouldn’t let just anyone set a broken bone, and the same should go for nutrition advice

Nadine Baerg

Burn fat while supporting muscle! The supplement with everything your body needs. This 24-hour detox cleanse will revitalize you from the inside out!

We are constantly bombarded with messages that promise a lot and appear to be scientifically sound. Is there anything that we should consider before jumping right in?

Is the ad offering a quick fix?

Most of us know that lifestyle changes and the resulting impacts on our health take time and effort, we often still hold out hope that there will be a quick and easy boost to help us get there. Remember that if something seems too good to be true that it likely is. Small and manageable changes will have more of an impact in the long term as they are more sustainable.

Are they trying to sell you something?

Some messages are blatant, while others are more cleverly disguised. They are apparent in our favourite TV and radio shows, that blog that you follow closely and random ads that pop up throughout the day. Be wary of anything they are selling beyond helping you make every day healthy choices.

Not all science is created equal

Is the product or recommendation supported by only one study? That could be because there is no other evidence to back it up, or the other studies could have come to a different conclusion. The best evidence that something is true comes when there are numerous well-designed studies that come to the same conclusion. Larger sample sizes and using a placebo to compare results are two things that hint at a stronger study design.

Do they rely on personal testimonials?

Individual stories of success are nice to hear but don’t necessarily mean that a product actually works. Nutrition advice should be based on sound scientific evidence, not on personal testimonial. Also some testimonials gushing about products are not authentic, which becomes quite apparent when strikingly similar posts show up on multiple sites.

What are the person’s qualifications?

You wouldn’t let just anyone set a broken bone, and the same should go for nutrition advice. Especially in regards to supplements and specialized diets, which could be harmful depending on the advice and your own medical history. Always check with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes. Health Link BC (accessed online or by phone at 8-1-1) is a great resource for general nutrition information and registered dietitians are available from 9-5 on weekdays.

-adapted from Dietitians of Canada and PEN campaign “Fight misinformation with the help of a dietitian”

– Nadine Baerg is a public health dietitian with Interior Health.

 

Just Posted

West Fraser announces indefinite closure of Chasm sawmill

The third shift for the 100 Mile House location will also be eliminated

Winter Waterfalls project brings 7,500 visitors

Pilot project offered a unique waterfall viewing experience

The importance of cleaning your hummingbird feeder

Feeders need to be thoroughly cleaned at least every three days in hot weather

Author sets her sights on tourism market

Eleanor Deckert promotes reading wholesome

Raptors announcer credited with calming massive crowd after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Sexting teens at risk of harms including depression, substance use: study

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Most Read