Science vs Sound Bite: Navigating the Murky Waters of Interpreting and Communicating Research
Nutrition is a science, not an opinion. All areas of practice, including communicating on social media, require using the best scientific evidence possible. Scientific evidence is the pillar upon which we base all of our recommendations–a badge of honor that sets us up apart from those who dispense nutrition pseudoscience and distort public understanding.
Nonetheless, it is not black and white; evidence can be subject to interpretation. Unraveling studies and inferring judgments requires a certain degree of skepticism, critical analysis, ethics and restraint from personal bias and preconceptions. On the flip side, personal bias and myths can cloud the interpretation of scientific evidence. This session will explore how to evaluate the existing body of evidence on hot topics and use the weight of the evidence to debunk myths. Guidelines for approaching emerging topics with less robust evidence yet prevailing at major research institutions, funded research and peer reviewed literature will be addressed. Terms such as ‘solved science’ and ‘evidence informed’ and others related to emerging topics with gaps in research will also be addressed. The recently published guidelines for evidence, code of ethics and awarding continuing education credits will also be included.
- Upon completion, participant will be able to define the hierarchy of evidence and understand the limits and strengths of each.
- Upon completion, participant will be able to utilize their expertise within the code of ethics to critically analyze controversial topics when gaps in evidence exist and urban myths prevail.
- Avoid personal bias and use the existing body of evidence to debunk myths and educate the public with evidence-based information.
- 1.1.3 Understands the impact of personal values
and beliefs on practice.
- 6.2.3 Interprets data to make recommendations and
to inform decisions.
- 4.1.2 Interprets and integrates evidence-based
research and literature in decision making.
Alison Steiber, PhD, RDN
Chief Scientific Officer
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RDN, LD
No Nonsense Nutrition
David Baer, PhD
USDA ARS BHNRC FCHL