Evaluating Research on Food and Cooking
By the end of this session you should be able to:
- Understand some of the types of studies that are done in food and nutrition, and their strengths and limitations
- Understand how to read a research paper on a nutrition or other health topic
- Be able to ask critical questions about the quality and appropriateness of food and nutrition research as reported in the media
Our case study:
We will look at a study done on whether dark chocolate and almonds affect cardiovascular risk factors.
Media report of the study: Reuters news article on dark chocolate and almonds
Original Study: Lee, Y., Berryman, C., West, S., Chen, C., Blumberg, J., Lapsley, K., Preston, A., Fleming, J. and Kris‐Etherton, P. (2017). Effects of Dark Chocolate and Almonds on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Individuals: A Randomized Controlled‐Feeding Trial. Journal of the American Heart Association, [online] 6(12).
Resources for understanding and assessing research articles:
- Infographic: Why Do Researchers Do Different Kinds of Clinical Studies? From the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
- How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide for Non-Scientists. By Jennifer Raff, Assistant Professor, Physical Anthropology, University of Kansas.
Belluz J. I asked 8 researchers why the science of nutrition is so messy. Here’s what they said. Vox. 2016 [accessed 2019 May 22].
- Understanding Health Research: A Tool for Making Sense of Health Studies. From the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit of the University of Glasgow
- Below is the PDF summary of the Understanding Health Research assessment for the article on dark chocolate and almonds:
Sources of Good Evidence on Nutrition and Diet
Spotting bad science: the infographic below is a rough guide to spotting bad science, from the chemistry infographic site Compound Interest (https://www.compoundchem.com/)
- Last Updated: Feb 19, 2021 3:02 PM
- URL: https://library.ucalgary.ca/guides/BIOL
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