There’s no shortage of nutrition and health information, but not all of it is “evidence based,” and we now have more avenues than ever before for receiving this information. Besides radio and TV, we have things like email, websites, FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter and many others. Unfortunately, nutrition and health info is not always accurately depicted.
Since many people retrieve health information from websites, consider some of these questions as you judge the reliability of the information on the site.
Does the website address end in “.gov” or “.edu?” Government (.gov) and educational institution (.edu) websites are more trustworthy than commercial (.com) sites. Organization sites (.org) usually have credible information.
What is the purpose of the information? Is it promoting or selling a product? Consider the intent and weigh the evidence before you buy.
Is the information based on scientific research or opinion?
Is a date listed? Is it recent?
Is there an editorial board that oversees the website?
Is a credible organization sponsoring the website?
Is the material reviewed by experts?
So as you look through all the info that’s out there, keep these questions in mind and you be the judge!
– Julie Garden-Robinson, PhD, L. R. D., is a North Dakota State University Extension Service food and nutrition specialist and associate professor in the department
of health, nutrition and exercise sciences.