Although magazine racks, bookstore shelves, newspaper columns, and the Internet bombard you with healthful eating advice, being a best-seller or highly visible doesn't make the advice reliable. Despite threads of truth, the messages may be laced with misinformation or offer advice in a context that doesn't apply to you. Give what you read or hear a reliability check.
Who Wrote It?
Check the author's qualifications. A reputable nutrition author usually is educated in the field of nutrition, medicine, or a related specialty, with a degree or degrees from an accredited college or university. He or she usually is a credentialed member of a credible nutrition organization—for example, an RD or a DTR. Today you can find many books, magazine articles, newspaper columns, and online information written by qualified nutrition experts. See "The Real Expert ... Please Stand Up " in this chapter.
Many credible writers are affiliated with an accredited university or medical center that offers nutrition or related health research, programs, or courses. An "accredited" institution generally is certified by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Check the reference department of your local library for an institution's accreditation.
Why Was It Published?
For healthful eating advice, find resources with a balanced nutrition message meant to inform, not advertise. Try to analyze what's being said or implied. If it's not clear, ask a qualified nutrition expert.
Is the Nutrition Advice Credible?
Check the sources cited. Reliable advice is backed up with credible sources such as:
• Government entities. For example, the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine, the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) base healthful eating and lifestyle guidelines on the most current research and consensus from scientific experts. Among the guidelines often cited: Dietary Reference Intakes, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, MyPyramid, and the CDC's body mass index and physical activity guides.
Credible nutrition experts don't claim to have all the answers. If scientific evidence isn't conclusive or if the issues are controversial, they say so.
Check "Resources You Can Use " at the back of this book for many—but not all—government and health agencies, professional organizations, and food industry groups that provide credible information.
What Do Credible Experts Say?
Look for reviews by credible experts. For a book, start inside or on the cover itself, where you may find
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