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

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

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.

Was this page helpful?

As a patient, did this page help you find out everything you wanted to know about this topic?