Is Nutrition Evidence Based? Why It Matters

by | Jun 30, 2020 | Business Advice, Nutrition

Back in the days before the internet, when you had to learn from actual books, instead of Google, you really had to dedicate yourself to a topic to be considered an “expert” in that area. You would attend seminars and lectures or read multiple books and articles on the topic. 

You collected reference materials, kept your old school textbooks, and maintained a collection of professional journals. Those materials were where you went to look things up or learn more about a particular topic.

I remember when I was in school to be a dietitian, slightly before the internet became such a huge thing, I worked for a well-established RD. In her office she had multiple file cabinets filled with nutrition reference materials. She actually used articles and books as reference for her nutrition practice because the internet didn’t exist. This is obviously quite different from how many of us get information today, but this wasn’t that long ago. 

Google and the Nutrition “Expert”

Of course, now it’s all different, information is always right at our fingertips. You can learn anything you want about nutrition at any time. Just do a quick Google search. All the information you need to know is right there, at your fingertips or on your smartphone. 

Then, of course, you have the ability to take that information, share it on social media or use it to argue with people on Facebook. Clearly, since you read that article on the benefits of kale, ketogenic diets, or whatever…you are now an expert and have all the information you need to provide information on that topic.

In this era where anyone can be a self-proclaimed “expert” and good marketing makes it really difficult to tease out what is real, it can be a challenge to navigate all the noise. 

The field of nutrition has been hit particularly hard because of this, with many credential-less “experts” gaining tremendous internet popularity because of awesome marketing skills and persuasive website copy. 

But, I would argue that as shiny and pretty marketing messages can be, all health and wellness businesses need to have a strong foundation in evidence based nutrition care practices. Or else you run the risk of providing information that puts you at risk of liability or is just another trend fleeting trend in the health world.

What is Evidence Based Research?

Most traditional health care providers make recommendations that come from evidence based research. Everyone, even doctors and all health care providers, have opinions. 

But evidence based practice is there to guide you so that you don’t base your patient care decisions on opinions. When you are practicing or creating content in this way, you must first search several different peer reviewed, reputable sources to find the consensus on the topic. 

Applying evidence to your clinical practice is the best way to keep your patients safe. It helps you provide the best, most up to date and safest care for all your patients. Evidence based practice is what helps create the best outcomes for your patients. 

Is Nutrition Evidence Based?

Yes, the type of nutrition practiced by Registered Dietitians is 100% evidence based. One of the cornerstones of the education required to become a Registered Dietitian is learning how to evaluate and apply scientific research to dietetic practice. This specialized ability is what helps RDs stand out from the crowd and makes them different them from other nutrition professionals.

RDs are guided by evidence based nutrition practice guidelines which are organized by our governing body, the Commission for Dietetic Registration. These are a series of statements and treatment protocols developed to help analyze and synthesize nutrition practice based on scientific evidence. They are designed to help RDs make decisions about appropriate nutrition care for patients. 

Adherence to these guidelines is what allows RDs to practice medical nutrition therapy or disease management using nutrition. This means RDs are the only professionals who can help those with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar or reduce complications for dialysis patients. 

This level of high quality, well-researched medical information is what makes an impact on people’s health, by modifying the course of their disease state or helping reduce risk factors for illness. Evidence based practice is what will truly help people live the healthier lives they want. 

Evidence Based Content Marketing

Evidence-based practice in nutrition impacts real health in a way that persuasive marketing cannot, it literally helps people stay alive. Although we may not all be battling chronic diseases, we can all benefit from the expertise of professionals who have taken the time to study, understand, and apply the latest research in their field. 

Fluff or passionate marketing can be fun and entertaining to read about online. But, when the outcome is the difference between wellness or illness, evidence-based practice will have the greatest impact. 

Working with a dietitian to support your content marketing efforts will provide something that many other writers simply don’t have, the education and skills to consistently provide the correct evidence-based nutrition information every time.

Want to know more about how our expert RDs can help you create evidence based content for your health and wellness business? Get in touch for a quote today. 


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