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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsSIMONE GIBSON: There's a lot of nutritional information on the internet these days. There's thousands of sites, bloggers, people to choose your information from. And often, that's the first port of call that people use when they want to go and look something up, particularly regarding their health and nutrition. Everyone needs to understand more about where they're getting their nutrition information from and what information they can trust. A range of people can give some really good advice, but sometimes the advice isn't so good. Sometimes its designed purely for commercial gain, and sometimes it is just based on their own experience. So if it worked for them, they think it is going to work for everyone.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsSo the danger is this could end up costing people a lot of money, or they might miss out on essential nutrients, or they might find that the advice is so restrictive that it impacts on the rest of their life. I think a warning sign is when someone refuses to accept information that's outside of their own diet or recommendations. And a good sign is when someone's willing to explore options with you that they might not necessarily have known about before, and they're willing to seek more information on your behalf. So some of the questions that you can ask yourself are-- what are the credentials of this person offering the information?

Skip to 1 minute and 29 secondsAre they a professional who has experience in that area, or are they just talking about they heard about this diet, or it's based on their own personal experience? Are they looking for a quick-fix solution? Are they promising something can be achieved in a really short amount of time that probably is unrealistic? Are they claiming that they can cure everything or making outlandish claims? Are they removing major food groups without replacing essential nutrients? Is the expert's educational background any way related to nutrition science? Do they have practical experience in the area, or are they basing it purely on their own experience? Do you know other people who have seen them?

Skip to 2 minutes and 8 secondsDo they belong to a professional body with accreditation and regulation procedures? And is there a pathway for people to make complaints if they're not happy with the service that they've been provided? Does it involve the purchase of special foods or supplements? Does it work? If you followed their advice, did it help in any way? Does the advice provided conflict with what your doctor or other health care professional has provided you? And how flexible are the recommendations? Is it one single standard way of eating certain foods at certain times of day, or is there flexibility and collaboration involved? The answers to these questions will help you identify professionals who you can trust and the sound nutritional advice that you can follow.

Skip to 2 minutes and 51 secondsI encourage everyone to look at the facts so they'll be able to make reasoned decisions when trying to find a healthy way to eat. I would be really interested to hear about your experiences with obtaining nutrition information on the internet.

Nutrition information: What to look out for

Watch Simone talk about the importance of accurate health and nutrition information, and what you can do to determine if a source of nutrition information can be trusted.

Talking point

Within the Comments, consider sharing with other learners your thoughts and experiences with following nutrition advice.

  • Have you followed nutrition advice from the internet?
  • If so, how did you choose which advice to follow?
  • What evidence or credentials were you given?

You might like to take some time to read comments made by other learners, and if you find these comments interesting, respond to them. Remember you can also ‘like’ comments or follow other learners throughout the course.


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This video is from the free online course:

Food as Medicine

Monash University

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Food as medicine in history
    Food as medicine in history
    video

    Watch Janeane provide an overview of how food was used as medicine in the past, and the role food science played in health.

  • Welcome to Week 3
    Welcome to Week 3
    video

    Watch Helen introduce the range of topics that you’ll learn about in this week of the course.

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