Nutrition: The Information Age

Food and health is always topical and in today’s age of information there are self-proclaimed experts everywhere. There is so much information available, it’s difficult to decipher pseudoscience from real science and even if you do, what does it mean. Finding a trusted source of information is the key, as well as using good old fashioned commonsense.

 

Food and health is always topical and in today’s age of information there are self-proclaimed experts everywhere. There is so much information available, it’s difficult to decipher pseudoscience from real science and even if you do, what does it mean. Finding a trusted source of information is the key, as well as using good old fashioned commonsense.

So, who can you trust? This is where a bit of commonsense might come in handy, especially when it comes to your health and nutrition. If a celebrity or sports star is touting the information you are interested in, ask your self what’s in it for them? Is it linked to a book they are selling, a company they are being endorsed by, a company they own or are linked with, will they gain financially, if so a good dose of skepticism is warranted.

Unfortunately the best sources of health information often lack excitement and the quick fix we are after. They often look boring and lack the pizazz offered by celebrities and others, but put that aside when you are looking for the facts. The most trusted sources of health and nutrition information can be found on the websites of large organisations such as the Dietitians Association of Australia, Nutrition Australia or various government sites. Note that these sites don’t have a lot of advertising and flashy pictures or celebrity endorsement.

Alternatively you could try it the old fashioned way and talk to your GP, an Accredited Practising Dietitian or other health practitioner that has expertise in your area of interest. Most health professionals are university trained, regulated by government or a national body, bound by a code of ethics and use sound scientific evidence and clinical experience on which to base their decision making. Ask yourself, what’s in it for them when they give you advice? Their reputation, their ability to stay in their chosen profession, credibility? Most health professionals want to help and have a lot more to lose if they give you bad advice than they have got to gain.

 

Top tips for accessing health & nutrition information

  1. Look for websites with URLs that end in;
    • .gov
    • .org
    • .asn
  2. Beware the celebrity
  3. Is your chosen health practitioner university trained and regulated by a governing body?
  4. Try these websites;