How to spot nutrition fake news

Sensational headlines sell news, but when those headlines are about nutrition, the end result is often confusion about what is really safe to eat and drink. Earlier this week, headlines were focused on a recent study published in the Lancet that suggests alcohol intake of any amount is harmful. This resulted in an outcry from scientists and medical professional around the world criticizing this type of research and the news releases to the public.

Why might you ask? Because this study was an epidemiological study, which is a type of science that uses nutrition questionnaires (that can be highly inaccurate) to examine the association of eating/drinking different foods with particular health outcomes (e.g. heart attack, cancer, death etc). These types of studies are used to show associations only - there are no cause and effect results. However, the media takes a wildly different spin on things. 

The moral of the story is that any news headline that says "this food is associated with this health outcome" should always be taken with a grain of salt. 

Instead, nutrition studies that test the effect of different nutrients on health outcomes - like omega-3 nutrition therapy for neuropathy - have measurable and definitive conclusions. This is high-quality nutrition research because we are changing the nutrients that people are consuming and measuring how their health changes over time.

Stay healthy,

Dr. Evan

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