15 September 2018


UNDERSTANDING FOOD AND NUTRITION RESEARCH // Click to read more ↓ Is coconut oil poison? Will a low carb diet shorten my life? In this video I tell you ...

hey guys welcome back to my Channel

today we're going to be talking about how to understand nutrition research it seems like every day there are articles being thrown at us with these flashy headlines and the claims that are making are sometimes pretty terrifying how do we know if we can trust these journalists surely not all these claims are true or else there wouldn't be anything less to eat it is really important to look into the research behind these claims but if you don't have a scientific background it can be hard to really get a grasp on what they are saying if you follow the tips and tricks that I'm going to share with you in this video you will be able to break down and understand any scientific research that you come across and be able to decide for yourself whether the claims are valid or not if you're new to my channel my name is Kate I'm a health coach and I post videos on the low-carb high-fat way of eating and other nutrition and related videos so if you want to see more make sure to click that subscribe button [Music] the first step in understanding what your a reading is knowing that there are

different types of research out there research can be divided into two main groups review papers which look at prior research and draw conclusions from that and original research which is based on the researchers original findings original research can be broken down into experimental studies and observational studies with experimental studies intervention is intentionally introduced and an outcome is observed these are the only type of study they can prove causation observational studies on the other hand have no control over the subject these studies simply observe populations they collect data periodically and from this data they find possible links between factors it is important to note that these type of studies cannot prove causation they can only prove association or correlation once a link has been made experimental studies are then done to prove or disprove whether the two factors are actually related [Music] the next thing you want to look at is the actual method that the researchers use so for experimental studies randomized controlled trials are

considered to be the gold standard next up would be double-blind studies and then placebo controlled studies if the researchers didn't use one of these three methods the results aren't as dependable was the experiment done on humans or animals obviously human studies are going to carry more weight the length of the study is also important a claim that is made from a study done over four weeks may not hold true if that study carried on for longer another good thing to look out for is the markers that the researchers used in the study for example when looking at reducing the risk of heart disease total cholesterol levels are often used as a marker but this marker may not be accurate there are a lot of people coming forward saying that total cholesterol is not a good indicator for heart disease and then we need to look at things like LDL and HDL and within that particle size so if a study is saying that heart disease risk was reduced because cholesterol was reduced that may not be a good marker and for observational studies a lot of times these studies are done over a long period of time and are based on

something called a food frequency questionnaire participants are given a survey periodically the problem with this is that oftentimes these surveys ask participants to recall what they have eaten over the last month for the last year for example it will say how many times did you have a serve chicken per week over the last month and as you can probably tell what I'm getting at these aren't very accurate sometimes there's also one person in the household who is asked to answer for the whole household which again lowers the accuracy there's also a thing called self-report bias where participants will choose their answers to try to make themselves look better you also want to look into how the people are grouped within studies as an example I was reading a study that claimed people on a plant-based diet we're at a 42 percent reduced risk for heart disease and when I looked into it it was an observational study they used the food frequency questionnaire but what was really interesting about it was how they grouped people plant-based included a bunch of veggies and then fish and

another category was convenience and this category included fast food as well as red meats and they said they put people into these groups based on what they ate the most of so by that logic someone could eat 49 percent fat suit and 51 percent fish and fall into the plant-based category and that is just one example of how a headline can be misleading looking at who the study was cited by can tell you a couple of things for original research simply looking at the number of times it's been cited can tell you is others found the research valuable or not and if you actually look into some of the articles that cited the research you can tell how it was interpreted by others if they agree with the claims are not and they say conducted further research and is that supported the claims or not for review papers you want to look at the references so these are the studies that the researcher looked at to draw their conclusion sometimes the studies they referenced are actually used out of context and don't support the claim does the review paper is trying to make you also want to look at if the research is a reference

is from experimental studies or if it's from observational studies as I mentioned earlier if it is mostly observational studies for only observational study these do not show causation and cannot be used to come to any solid conclusion you want to take a look at who funded the research now if this doesn't always decried it but it is just something to be mindful of a study done on the health benefits of sugar funded by coca-cola that should probably erase some red flags and finally you want to look to see if you can find opposing research you can go to websites such as PubMed and Google Scholar search the topic and see if you can find anything that goes against the claim that you were previously reading about a lot of times we get stuck in these echo chambers where we surround ourselves with people who believe the same things that we do so everything we ever hear just confirms our opinion it is really important to look at the other side look at it with an open mind and to be able to change your opinion should the evidence be overwhelming anyways guys that's all I have for you today I hope you enjoyed this video and that it

was helpful and let me know in the comments down below what was the craziest nutrition headline that you've ever seen remember to subscribe and I'll see you guys next time bye [Music]