According to Rebekah Nagler (the author of the 2014 study), the sense of confusion mentioned in part 1 of this article can lead to people dismissing nutritional advice altogether. This includes widely accepted and well-grounded advice such as eating plenty of fruits and vegetables or exercising regularly; the notion being that if the experts can’t agree on what’s healthy and unhealthy, clearly no one knows. Such thinking can lead to individuals adopting detrimental diets and lifestyles.
Additionally, if people read negative news regarding particular food groups, they may choose to cut them out of their diets completely. Research has shown that 60% of people have subsequently done so or have seriously considered it. This would cause the body to be deprived of essential nutrients that it requires in order to function and grow properly. According to dietician Dr Schenker, “It sounds like a cliche but as ever the best advice is everything in moderation. Elimination diets rarely produce lasting results and may even have serious negative repercussions on overall health.” Nevertheless, some people may be advised to cut out gluten or dairy products by a medical professional due to an allergy or intolerance.
Finally, it isn’t just the media that is guilty of spreading misinformation and misleading. As ‘healthy’ branded food products have become increasingly profitable in recent years, more and more businesses have engaged in false advertising. For example, Kind bars were labelled as ‘healthy’, brimming with fiber and antioxidants and low in fat and sodium. However, a closer look revealed that they contained more fat, calories and salt than a Snickers chocolate bar. This is just one of many examples out there of companies misleading the public into thinking that they are eating sensibly.
Hopefully this will all help you avoid or better spot the inaccurate and deceptive nutritional information that is being spread around.