Did you know that sugar is toxic? – Well it’s not
That coconut oil can cure everything from HIV to obesity? – Well it can’t
Or, that banana’s are a demonic fruit sent to Earth by a superior race who wants to supress human intelligence and DNA in preparation for their impending supremacy? – Well …
… Maybe not but I’m sure I could sell that with a little help from a marketing team and a book deal which uses some gosh darn good scientific “evidence,” opinions from medical “experts,” some championed personal antidotes of how I defeated this race and ‘Quit Bananas,’ and of course some good old fashioned celebrity endorsements.
Sound ludicrous? It may, but these are the tactics and strategies used time and time again to sell the next best nutrition and fitness myths. So before you go jumping on board the latest craze, buying something with the words “Best kept Hollywood secret” on the label, or stocking the pantry with the latest “Super food” from the jungles of Scotland, take advantage of the plethora of information available on the internet, get savvy about what you read and do a little myth busting.
Of course de-bunking myths and sift through fact and fiction on the internet is not an easy (or quick!) task, but here are some simple strategies that can help you get accurate information:
- Look for big red flags – any of those examples above (celebrity endorsement, personal antidotes, “evidence” that sounds too good to be true, unsubstantiated, overly simple or unnecessarily complicated), should ring alarm bells.
- See what leading health authorities and organisations think about it – if the position isn’t supported or promoted by groups such as the Dietitians Association of Australia, Nutrition Australia, or NHMRC recommendations such as The Australian Dietary Guidelines, amongst others, than it is probably an unsubstantiated claim.
- Find out where the evidence has come from and who it has been funded by– a good level of evidence will be supported by multiple, independent, sources with an unbiased agenda. This is not always easy or even possible as many organisations fund research and produce good quality evidence, but keep in mind, research that has proved less favourable probably hasn’t been published.
- Seek medical advice – shocking I know, but if all else fails google can also be used to look up the details of medical practitioners in your area who can give you appropriate medical information, advice and referrals.
The Kids Menu is on a mission de-bunk all those nutrition and fitness myths you’ve been wondering about and to help you determine nutrition and fitness fact from fiction. Drop by and check out The Monthly Myth Busting blog giving you up-to-date, high quality nutrition and fitness information. No celebrity endorsements, personal anecdotes, bias agendas, quick fixes or “evidence” that sounds too good to be true – just honest research, solid evidence and best-practice information.