Initially this article was going to cover some interesting fitness facts. However, as I was researching it I realised just how much misinformation there is out there. Frequently I would see the same claim made in multiple articles which sounded interesting only to find rebuttals with concrete scientific evidence to refute them. So I thought it might be a better idea to write an article on how to sift through the misinformation and find facts you can trust.
Question Your Sources
This is the most obvious way of filtering the good from the bad. Research is constantly being done on health and fitness if someone is writing an article and makes a claim with no reference to where they got the information then you should look for the source yourself or at the very least take it with a grain of salt. Academic articles are preferred but personal experience should not be ignored.
Often times when an article is being written the scientific findings will not make for the most appealing title or excerpts, for example “preliminary findings imply that X may have some correlation to Y but further study is required” doesn’t really jump off the page at you. So if you see an interesting title don’t take it at face value find out more as more often than not the title is exaggerated.
Statistics Can Lie
By this I don’t mean that the statistics are false it’s just that using statistics can be used selectively to tell a different story than the data presents.
For example if a study was done on a weight loss program with 100 participants, 98% had negligible results and two of the participants had great results with their body fat went from 30% down to 15%. Then it should be written as 2% of participants dropped 15% BF. However, it could be sensationalised as a study lead some participants to a 50% drop in body fat. The statement is not untrue but the story it tells is very different, it lies be omitting relevant information.
Understand Your Perspective
How open are you to new points of view or ideas? Try to understand that even though an article may not be written for your demographic some of the information can still be useful. Even if the information does not apply to you directly it may be influencing the people around you.
These guidelines should help you to sift through the masses of information available online. If it seems daunting trying fact check every piece of information you find then I recommend that you invest some time trying to find people who are willing to use their expertise and experience to sift through the information for you. We will do our best to post the best of what we find in blogs here and on our Facebook page.