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Public Underst Sci. 2012 Aug;21(6):664-73. doi: 10.1177/0963662511401782. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

The quality of the evidence for dietary advice given in UK national newspapers.

Author information

1
King's College London, UK.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Newspaper reports advocating dietary intake changes may impact on dietary choice and food related health beliefs. The scientific basis and quality of evidence underpinning these reports is uncertain.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the scientific quality of newspaper reporting related to dietary advice.

DESIGN:

Articles offering dietary advice from the top ten selling UK newspapers for a randomly selected week were assessed using two established evidence grading scales: developed by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN).

RESULTS:

Of 111 dietary health claims identified, 72% and 68% (assessed by WCRF and SIGN criteria respectively) had levels of evidence lower than the convincing or probable categories that are recommended for dietary health claims.

CONCLUSIONS:

Misreporting of dietary advice by UK newspapers is widespread and may contribute to public misconceptions about food and health.

KEYWORDS:

foods; health; health claim; newspaper article; systematic review

PMID:
23832153
DOI:
10.1177/0963662511401782

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