How to find trustworthy information to help your COVID-19 recovery
Advice to help you identify trustworthy information
This section helps you understand how to judge the quality of information on diet and nutrition.
There is a lot of information available about nutrition on the internet and in the media, but not all of it is based on sound evidence.
Diet and nutrition are challenging to study. Individual responses to dietary changes are very variable – what works for one person may not work for another, so it is difficult to give hard and fast definitive advice. Beware of those who claim to offer solutions for all.
The resources on this page will help you learn to critically assess the information about food and nutrition.
Identifying trustworthy information on nutrition and health
- Watch a 10-minute talk by an advanced specialist dietitian in gastroenterology on Identifying trustworthy information on nutrition and health.
Spotting bad science
- The term ‘bad science’ is used when articles or adverts claim something is based on science or research but may actually be misleading. This resource can teach you how to spot whether something you read or see is ‘bad science’: A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science.
- Patient Information Forum (PIF) have created resources to help you find health information you can trust. When you see the PIF tick you know that organisation is a trusted information creator.
- Learn how to find reliable, scientific information about food and nutrition and identify the truth behind food headlines on the Future Learn website.
Understanding the research behind the pandemic
- Find out how scientists worked to develop treatments and vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic on the Future Learn website – join their free COVID-19: Understanding the Research Behind the Pandemic course.
Ask for evidence
- Ask for Evidence is a public campaign that helps you to ask for the evidence behind health claims, news stories, ads and policies.
- Not sure who or what to believe? You’re not alone! Every day we hear from celebrities, commentators, companies, organisations and politicians who tell us to change our lifestyle or buy a product, support a new policy or sign a petition.
- View the Ask for Evidence website for more advice on how to ask for evidence and how to understand the evidence.
The hidden side of clinical trials
- Sense about Science challenge the misrepresentation of science and evidence in public life and intervene – often in partnership with others – to hold those responsible to account.
- A video on the Sense about Science website called 'The hidden side of clinical trials' can help you understand how trials work and what we should learn from them. Positive clinical trials are more likely to be published than negative clinical trials. Information is withheld; 4 out of 5 trials are not reported. Governance of clinical trials is coming, there is now a movement to record all trials. The video may also help you to think about questions to ask when talking to a health professional about trials.
Evidenced-based practice (EBP)
Evidenced-based practice (EBP) is a process all healthcare professionals are taught to use. It involves integrating the best available evidence with clinical knowledge and expertise, while considering patients’ unique needs and personal preferences.
Research studies tell us whether a particular treatment or intervention works for the group of people it is tested on. These studies help the professionals decide which treatments to use when treating people with particular diagnoses. They then use their own expertise and experience, along with the patient’s personal knowledge about what they need, to decide what treatment to use.
Evidence based practice means choosing effective, scientifically validated methods to meet individual patient needs. Healthcare professionals aim to incorporate patients’ preferences and individual circumstances when recommending a treatment.
One purpose of the Nutrition and Covid-19 Recovery Knowledge Hub is to gather the evidence on nutrition and COVIDrecovery in one place. This will support evidence-based practice for healthcare professionals and patients.
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