When I think of all the fakes out there, I can’t help but think about the movie “Catch me if you can” where actor Leonardo DiCaprio played a brilliant performance as a master of deception, portraying himself as a doctor, a lawyer and a co-pilot.
Similarly, there are many people out there who claim to be an expert in nutrition, offering advice without any qualifications. Even celebrities like Sarah Wilson have been known to influence people to try different diets that remove whole food groups.
Misleading information to promote a product
I can’t begin to tell you the amount of times I have seen girls at the gym drinking coconut water to re-hydrate after their workout. They believe its the best form of hydration post workout. Yes it is very hydrating although, scientific evidence show it to be no more beneficial than water and lets face it, water is cheaper!
Sound familiar? Oh don’t worry, your not alone.
I understand, we’re all in pursuit of wanting to live healthier and better lifestyles? Unfortunately, for every qualified nutritionist out there, someone unqualified is claiming to be an expert in nutrition too, without any ethical responsibility.
John Bohannon a German journalist who portrayed himself through various media platforms as a scientist in human studies, had millions believing his scientific research and studies proved that chocolate helps weight loss.
David Wolfe another journalist also likes to offer non evidence based nutrition advice. He over time has developed a strong influencing power via social media.
World Health Organisation cautioned “If you feel the need to listen to him do so sparingly”.
More harm than good
The problem with non-credible advice from dodgy journalist is it can be detrimental to peoples health. Did you know, to much kale is actually not good for people on blood pressure medication and, influencing people to add Macca powder to their diet can actually be harmful to those with thyroid issues.
What you read on social media is not always from a credible source and often affiliated with companies that want to endorse a product. In many cases celebrities are used to help promote ideas. Tim Crowe associate professor of nutrition points out;
While self-appointed nutrition experts are nothing new, social media has given them a “very loud influential voice”.
abc.net: Is it dodgy? Three top tips
- The info contradicts generally accepted nutrition and health guidelines.
- It cuts out or heavily restricts whole (or multiple) food groups and/or focuses on one or a few particular foods as having some disease- curing properties.
- The info is marketed with testimonials instead of scientific evidence
As a 4th year student about to graduate in nutrition I believe we all need to be well informed. I encourage you to seek any nutrition info from reputable sources or qualified professionals who have studied more than just the basics and work in the field every day.
Hopefully I have prompted you to think of dodgy advice you may of been given on social media in the past . Please feel free to share it on this blog so we can all work together on exposing the many fakes out there.
Surely our health depends on the right advice don’t you think?