Nutrition Studies – Are They Trustworthy?

By | December 11, 2017

How do you know if you can trust a nutrition study? You know the studies that say, coffee is bad for our heart, salt raises our blood pressure and fatty foods increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. The answer is that nobody really knows. So what can you do to protect yourself? You can protect yourself by applying common sense questions to any nutritional study that you read or hear about.

The first question you want to ask is if there are enough people in this study? If a researcher says that only a couple people have been studied, that is simply not enough. The study needs to include a variety of individuals and scientific numbers to be trustworthy. How many people should be included in a study? Several hundred to several thousand as there is always a possibility that an effect occurred by chance.

The next question you want to ask is if there is anything in the design or method of this study that could likely affect the outcome? There are testing methods and procedures that are more likely to lead to inaccurate or biased conclusions. For instance, a prospective study is always more accurate than a retrospective study. That is because people tend to forget details over time and will answer a researcher’s questions wrong.

Finally, you should question the study’s conclusion and ask if it is reasonable? If a study produces a conclusion that you strongly feel is illogical than it most likely is. For instance, a study in the 90s showed that a high fat diet increased the risk of colon cancer. But what really happened is that the data only showed diets high in beef. There was no link to a diet say high in dairy fat. In short, you should always take a second look at a study to confirm or deny its results.

James has been a nutritionist for 18 years. Please visit his website on rubber car mats that reviews automobile products such as custom car floor mats that every car should have.

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