Nutrition is a hot topic these days. The media is constantly covering stories about nutrition, and unfortunately, not all of this information is reliable (but that should be no surprise!)
The fact of the matter is, a lot of the information we hear about nutrition, especially from social media platforms and the TV is not speaking the truth. So, in order to assure you are educating yourself proper about nutrition, it is really important to learn how to navigate the media, especially the web! (since that tends to be our main source of information these days).
I compiled a list of helpful tips for separating trustworthy and untrustworthy information about health and nutrition.
1) Be knowledgeable about reliable nutrition websites for you to locate information—There are great websites out there that provide reliable, science-based information. You can use these to look up articles or see what websites they reference frequently. Some of my favorite websites include
- The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (and it’s practice groups) www.eatright.org
- Our website—https://rbitzer.com. We complied a list of all our favorite reliable websites that contain all sorts of information about nutrition in our blogs and recipes!
- Nutrition411.com is a site run by health care professionals who are all RDs and have experience in the nutrition field.
- Nutrition.gov which is funded by Research, Education Economics (REE), the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- The National Institute of Health also has a lot of great information on its website
2) Look at the sources in the article—Ask yourself… Is a Registered Dietitian quoted? Is there a reference to a study? How long ago was the article written? If there are no other sources to back the information in the article, you should be wary of the truth behind the claims.
3) Ask yourself, is this website trying to promote a certain product?—Not all the information on a product website is false. Some of it may be reliable, however, the fact is, product websites are trying to do one thing… Sell you their product!! I would advise you to cross check the information with one of the other websites I gave you.
When in doubt, consult with an RD about the information you found—After all, Registered Dietitians are the nutrition experts, so they will be able to tell you whether or not the information you may have heard is accurate and why. They can also direct you to sites that may have more information about a topic and provide you with handouts themselves.
If you’d like to learn more about navigating the media’s nutrition information, call us at 301-474-2499 or contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our dietitians!
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.