How Do You Balance Conflicting Health Recommendations?
Health information is imperative in order to help us own our health. It's useful, helps us make good decisions and empowers us to live a healthy lifestyle. However, the variety of articles we find on the internet can also be confusing and overwhelming. With all the advice and data available today online, in health journals and in books, it's important to be able to look at conflicting recommendations and figure out which one is the most reliable.
Take for instance, when you do research on topics, such as caffeine and whether it's good for you or not, there are many conflicting articles to be found. Articles from reputable Journals (they all have online versions) are the most reliable such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine or the Journal of the American Medical Association. There is a “conclusion” in every reputable study where the author(s) give their summary of results written in non statistical terms. The conclusion will state the strength of the findings and why. If not sure that you are viewing a credible medical source, talk with a friend who is a health professional.
Below are important questions to ask yourself when it comes to assessing the credibility and accuracy of what you are reading.
- How dependable is the source? Take time to examine the credentials and to determine if the author has the expertise to share their knowledge.
- Does the information seem accurate and logically make sense? Is it backed up by scientific studies or other data that holds trust? Make sure the facts are well supported and the sources are listed.
- Do you see any red flags? The publisher or author needs to be identifiable as a reputable source. And if there is no evidence sited and if there is poor grammar or misspelled words, that is a reason not to trust the site.
- How recent is the date of the study and/or article? If the article or study was published quite a few years ago, it is time to look for a more recent article.
Also, get a second opinion from someone who is familiar with the claims. And make sure you read multiple articles to validate the consistency of the information. According to MedlinePlus, you want to be skeptical of the claims, look for key evidence, and make sure the site has a medical board and the information is viewed before it is posted.
If you are looking for brief guidance for evaluating health information, check out www.TrustOrTrash.org.
For in-depth educational materials, take a look at www.TrustOrTrash.org/developer.
Here at 9Health Fair, we search out information from the most credible sources to give you the best information available. See below for helpful articles to aid in you understanding of guidelines.
Always remember to use good judgment from internet forums such as chat rooms and bulletin boards. Keep in mind that one persons viewpoint or experience doesn't mean that is right for you.
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