What To Believe In The Media

don't believe recommendations that promise a quick fix

What to believe

Best not to believe

Recommendations which involve some effort on your part

Recommendations that promise a quick fix

When the claim falls within the realms of reality

When the claim seems too good to be true

When it is claimed that more work is needed to back the findings

When simplistic conclusions are drawn from a complex study

Recommendations made by pooling together all the reputable studies

Recommendations based on a single study

Recommendations done on sufficient number of people to be able to carry out proper statistics

Recommendations made from individual case studies only, or only a handful of people

When trials have been ‘placebo- controlled’ i.e. an effect is claimed over and above the effect which may be seen due to ‘placebo’.

Recommendations based on the effect only and not on the effect over and above the placebo effect (which can be 50% in some cases)

Statements that are backed up by reputable scientific organisations

Dramatic statements that are refuted by reputable scientific organisations

Studies which back up healthy eating guidelines

Studies which claim that a whole food group should not be eaten by large groups of people.

Healthy eating claims which do not involve cutting out whole lists of ‘forbidden’ foods

Lists of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods

Recommendations which are based on independent, unbiased scientific research

Recommendations made to help sell a product

Recommendations based on peer reviewed studies (i.e. those which have had the approval of renowned experts in the field)

Recommendations based on studies published without peer review

Recommendations which take into account the fact that different groups and individuals may respond differently

Recommendations from studies that ignore differences among individuals or groups

Recommendations which are based on appropriate human studies, not just animal ones

Recommendations based on animal studies only

Recommendations which are based on further backing up of epidemiological evidence (i.e. evidence which can be gleaned by studying large groups of people as a whole) by further more ‘controlled’ studies

Recommendations which are based on epidemiological studies only, e.g. the French have less heart disease and the French also eat more snails, therefore the French have less heart disease because they eat more snails!