Social media today is flooded with nutrition advice and health claims and success stories of a new diet or a tea. But how do you know what is real and what is utter nonsense?
Well, it can be really quite tricky to be sure, everyone is very convincing! But here are our top tips to help you avoid clogging your feeds with unhelpful and possibly dangerous nutrition information.
- The letters: Letters after someone’s name can tell you what their qualification is. When talking about nutrition you are looking for someone with the letters ‘RD’ after their name. RD means registered Dietitian. In Ireland, this means they are registered with CORU, the state body that registers and regulates health professionals in Ireland. You can also look for ANutr / RNutr which means either associate or registered Nutritionist. ANutr or RNutr means that these individuals are registered with the Association of Nutrition (AFN). The AFN are the regulator for Nutritionists in Ireland and the UK. Any individuals with these credentials have a at least a 3 year university degree in Nutrition or Dietetics, which allows them to speak about nutrition and so they are a reliable source of information. Anyone can lie in their bio, so if in doubt you can check if someone is a registered Dietitian on the CORU website – https://www.coru.ie/ or to check if someone is a Registered or Associate Nutritionist you can find them on the AFN website – https://www.associationfornutrition.org/register/search-the-register. Be wary of accounts which don’t specify their qualification or don’t show any form of nutrition or dietetic qualification yet are posting about nutrition
- The Focus: What is the focus on their social media page? A Nutritionist or Dietitian usually focuses on health, how to improve your health and how to achieve a healthy diet in your day-to-day life. Some Dietitians or Nutritionist may specialise in a specific area of nutrition such as heart health, coeliac disease or intuitive eating and so their posts will centre around their chosen speciality. Their main focus will not be body image but rather a healthy relationship with body image and food. Before and after body transformation images in relation to nutrition advice could be considered a red flag for unreliable nutrition accounts. Their aim will be to improve someone’s health and well-being not to impact how they look.
- Restriction: Avoid any social media pages which recommend you follow a restricted diet which limits certain foods or food groups, or removes them completely from the diet. Nutritionists and Dietitian won’t promote any severely restrictive diets or removal of food groups from the diet. For example, if you see a page that says stop eating bananas for the rest of your life and you’ll feel 100 times better – this is nonsense!
- Too good to be true: This old saying has great merit! If it is too good to be true – then it is. Nutrition is based on science not on magic. Examples of too good to be true, is quick weight loss, speeding up your metabolism, curing cancer or other conditions.
Instagram & Twitter Accounts To Follow