April 7, 2011

Nutrition Education - Who can you Trust?

Last night a co-worker of mine announced, “I’m going to go on a 7 day fast starting tomorrow! My cousin is doing it and says it’s amazing. Fasting is REALLY good for you”.

Is it? For some reason, I’ve found that the population around me enjoys informing me about the amazing nutrition-related information they live by instead of asking me about the things they are ‘learning’. Usually, I let it go because it generally seems that people are so excited about their new fad that my advice would just bore them. How is it that people will rearrange their lives around someone without any credentials who wrote a book or was featured on TV, but won’t believe information presented by an RD or other highly educated or qualified person?

So, without being asked for my opinion, I went ahead and gave it. “Could someone please explain to me from a biologic standpoint why it would be REALLY good for you to stop eating?” No one had an answer.

A slide presented in Public Health class last week states that, according to the American Dietetic Association in 2009, 78% of people are interested in finding new, reliable sources of online nutrition information. 70% visit 2 to 3 sites when looking for said info. However, 99% believe the information they find on those sites are reliable and trustworthy.

I urge you; don’t listen to your “cousin”. Don’t base your nutrition education on someone that presented a 2 minute blurb on Good Morning America. Don’t immediately believe someone who is trying to sell you something, and don’t base your reality on one book, one article, or one opinion. Seek those who know – who have put in the time and gone to school and practice evidence based medical nutrition.

I know that it’s scary out there – some people are so desperate to lose weight or get “healthy” that they will spend thousands of dollars, inject themselves with hormones, starve themselves on fasts, or cut out entire food groups while seeking it. But before you being your 7 day fast please stop to consider – do I really have the knowledge to do this on my own? And if you meet a nutrition specialist, take the opportunity to learn from them. Listen with an open mind and spend less time trying to convince them that you have all the answers from the latest book you read.

1 comment:

  1. You are my new bff! Thank you for writing this post. I can not tell you how many times I have had this argument with people! why carbs are horrible, and why we shouldn't eat this or that. Just because a person us a m.d. doesn't mean they know jack! Talk to a dietitian if you'd like to know a safe and EFFECTIVE way to lose weight! K? Thanks!