Monday, May 31, 2010

Myth: I should change my nutritional habits based on the latest scientific research headlines.

Answer: Busted!

When evaluating science, it’s important to remember that one study is never enough. The scientific process is a road of discovery as researchers explore various hypotheses that contribute to the body of literature. Frequently, original research on nutrition is modified or even proven mistaken by later research. It is best to follow guidelines that have been set by nutrition research boards that have reviewed all of the scientific research and have reached a consensus on the best course of action. In the USA, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans represents the best nutritional advice based on sound science.

In evaluating health consequences of an ingredient, substance, or whole food, it is important to consider the most current scientific information. Unfortunately, some news sources, including major outlets, can continue to rely on and spread outdated information. Internet information sites especially can have this shortcoming, either forgetting to update and revise their content, or deliberately through a desire to promote a product or point of view.

Tip: Before changing your nutritional habits based on the latest news story, check out several other reliable sources of information like those from the American Dietetic Association, the federal government or from a University like

Contributor: James E. Meyer, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,

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