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Nutrition

Welcome to the Nutrition Research Guide

Overview 

Nutrition research can draw from professional guidelines, clinical evidence and bench research as well as recipe and diet development. This guide aims to provide you with the starting points for all these aspects of nutrition research, as well as some context for the research you'll find! Be sure to check out our "How To" Guides to help you get started with search skills, writing and citation tips.

Research - Known Issues and On-going Debates

https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/science-health-public-trust/perspectives/challenges-communicating-about-nutrition-researchThis introduction to some of the issues and on-going debates is intended to prompt further inquiry and critical evaluation of what you find – and don’t find – in the research. It is not a comprehensive overview of the field or the state of the research in the field. Librarians are available to help you explore the research, and help you answer questions about the context of that research. 

  • Although the field of dietetics is become more diverse, minorities are still underrepresented.1
  • Many nutrition studies are observational rather than quantitative which increases the likelihood of error.  
  • Long-term observational studies are expensive and often unreliable because participants are required to self-report and memories are notoriously unreliable.  
  • Nutrition studies may appear to be contradictory which causes the public to dismiss them. In addition, there may also be many confounding factors which make it difficult to interpret the results.2
  • The public often relies on the media for information about nutrition and do not know how to interpret studies. Think about the headlines about chocolate being a cure one week and cause the next!2
  • Studies may be funded by companies with a vested interest.3
  1. Robinson S. Doubling Down on Diversity: The Journey to a More Diverse Field. Food & Nutrition. Published June 4, 2020. Accessed April 13, 2021. https://foodandnutrition.org/from-the-magazine/doubling-down-on-diversity-the-journey-to-a-more-diverse-field/  
  2. Brown, A, Pratt C. The Challenges of Communicating about Nutrition Research. Science, Health and Public Trust website. November 6, 2019. Accessed April 13, 2021. https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/science-health-public-trust/perspectives/challenges-communicating-about-nutrition-research 
  3. Rucker RB, Rucker MR. Nutrition: ethical issues and challenges. Nutr Res. 2016;36(11):1183-1192. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2016.10.006 

 

 

 

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