We are bombarded by information today. This is especially true when it comes to health and nutrition. It seems that every week there’s another diet, another “get thin quick” scheme, another “super food,” or another approach to healthy eating. And, each one is backed up by a study.
With so many different approaches to healthy eating, who do you believe? Is there a quick way to evaluate health studies and determine if they are believable or not? It turns out that there is. Here are some questions that you should ask about any study you read before you believe the results, and certainly before you apply their recommendations in your own life:
Is it a lab study, an animal study or a people study? Each type can provide valuable information, but the results of research on people are more likely to be meaningful to you. Rely on people study results whenever possible.
Are the people in the study like you? The people in the study should be of the same age, sex, ethnic background and income level as you. They should also have the same health concerns that you do.
How many people were studied? The more people that are included in the study, the more believable the results.
How long were the people studied? People can show significant results in the short term, but were they able to sustain those results over time. For example, many people can lose weight on a low carb diet, but longer-term studies show that the many people gain all that weight back within one year.
Where was the research done? Was it done at a recognized institute, university or hospital? These organizations are usually more experienced and have better funding.
Who paid for the research? This is a big one. Would you believe a study of cancer caused by smoking if it were paid for by a large cigarette manufacturer? If not, then don’t believe the results of studies paid for by groups that have something to gain by the results.
It is important to keep educating yourself, especially when it comes to your health. We review the results of 10-20 health and/or nutrition studies each month. And I always ask the questions above. You should too.
Would you like your kids to eat better? Get our FREE ebook, Do You Wish Your Kids Ate Better? It’s packed with tips for getting everyone in your family craving healthy foods.
Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
You might also want to read: Diabetes Costs U.S. $245B Per Year, True or False: 5 Food Myths Busted, Eating Healthy: Keep it Simple