Eat 5-6 small meals/day to boost your metabolism. During weight loss, you better weight train and not just run, otherwise you’re going to get “skinny fat”. Low-carb diets are superior to low-fat diets for long term weight loss. The list goes on and on and on. There is just so much non-factual nonsense out there and we want to set the record straight.
These Internet Myths happen for a wide variety of reasons; however, three of the most common reasons for how these nutrition misconceptions happen are
1) Cherry picking evidence to support their claims: In so many of these claims, a study or two may (kind of) support their product or service but the entire body of evidence (academic literature) does not. But they have a product to promote and a brand to protect so they cherry pick the evidence that supports their claims.
2) Inappropriately applying a research study to another population: Cells, mice, and animals are not humans. Mice and human DNA is virtually 100% identical, that’s what makes mice research so applicable to human physiology; however humans are obviously much more complex creatures on so many levels (physiological, behavioral, sociological) that will ultimately affect their decision making and their physiologies. The results of a study in the highly controlled mouse world are likely to be far different in their human counterparts.
Secondly, many brands make the mistake of misapplying research findings to different, unique populations of humans. For example, the physiology of a 60 year old physically active black man is going to be different than a 27 year old sedentary, obese white woman. What you learn in one population cannot necessarily be applied to another population, yet this happens all the time.
3) Extrapolating well beyond the collected data set: this might be the worst of the three as it is most difficult to detect and even very good researchers are guilty of this. Let’s say a study was performed for three weeks. Have you ever heard a statement like, “These findings indicate that if the program performed in this research study was completed for a year, the result would be such and such”. YOU CAN”T SAY THIS! We have no idea what performing that program will do for a year, unless we test it. People might fall off the wagon, the very next week, we have no idea of what will happen but this type of incorrect extrapolation happens all the time.
The bottom line is, The Nutrition Advocate is not tied to a specific product and we aren’t required to defend a specific brand, therefore we’re better able to look at the entire body of literature to make our claims, rather than cherry picking the facts to support our product or service. We realize that mouse studies, while informative, are mouse studies and that a three week research study only applies to that three week period. In “Internet Myths” we hope to apply what we know to help you decipher fact from fantasy.