In this world of internet information, there’s a lot of confusion. While it is wonderful to have all the pertinent studies at the tip of your fingers, not everything you read is true. You need to be reliable with your health and not blindly follow others that offer no proof of their “magical” secrets to losing weight or have no background education. There are some signals to look for to help weed out the legitimate from that which is pure junk and may even be dangerous.
Be careful with sites that offer quick fix information.
In most cases, health and fitness issues aren’t like pulling out a splinter. You don’t solve the problem with one action, one week or even one month. Most of the fitness problems faced by people today occur after years of unhealthy eating and living a sedentary life. If a website says you’ll shed 25 pounds in a week with a miracle diet, you can be certain it’s not a healthy way to address the problem or that the weight will stay off after you start eating again. Good health does not occur by exercising one day and spend the rest of the month inactive or eating a bowl of salad followed by a hot fudge sundae.
Check out the source of the information.
There are a lot of reliable studies available in peer-reviewed journals such as JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine and National Cancer Institute. These studies show how the study was set up and the findings, including anything that might affect the results they achieved. While you’re checking out your source, you also need to see who is paying for that research. One article in JAMA, published in November 2016, tells how the study that actually pointed toward saturated fat as the culprit for heart disease, removing the blame from sugar, was actually paid for by the sugar industry to single out fat, not sugar.
Does the “new” amazing research fit with what is already known?
If you read an article that says new studies show that laying on your back and clicking the remote is a valid form of exercise that is better than walking, you might love that information, but probably know deep down that it isn’t true. It simply doesn’t match up with the volume of information that points to regular exercise and an active lifestyle is important for good health. Always question new studies that don’t fit with commonly accepted truths. It doesn’t mean it’s false, because research learns new things daily, but it should build on what is already known or approached with caution.
- Not everything new is false. Just like the age old wisdom of cutting out fats is false, unless it’s trans fats, and much of the problem is sugar, keep an open mind, but be cautious.
- If you get the information off the internet, check the validity of the source thoroughly. For those who use anectdotal information from friends, ask more questions and then investigate more on your own.
- Don’t give up your program of regular exercise or healthy eating to adopt a new “lifestyle” that is completely contradictory to common sense. If you’re eating food that’s whole and getting exercise, any type of exercise, daily, you can’t go wrong.
- Don’t rely on internet information if you’re concerned you have a serious condition, like a heart attack. See a professional immediately. While you might feel foolish if it turns out to be indigestion, it’s better to be safe.