Dieticians help folks sort through the flood of confusing nutrition information

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:16 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Social media can be a source of inspiration or a source of misinformation. This is especially true for those pursuing health and fitness goals. Your News Leader spoke with a dietician to learn more.

From hitting the gym to browsing the grocery store aisles to making breakfast, everyone makes choices on how to care for their bodies. Many turn to social media for inspiration on how to do just that.

“There’s certain bodybuilders or people in fitness that a lot of people follow, and they have a lot of followers because they like how they run and they want to be able to implement their own workouts in their own lives,” said Dylan Geiger of Mandan.

“[Social media] is full of ‘healthy habits’, things you can eat that are healthy. Mostly on TikTok you especially see that,” said Brynn Hyttinen of Washburn.

But with the flood of information at our fingertips, it can be difficult to know what will work for you.

“It’s nice to have other people showing you certain things that work better for them, but the cons are everybody works differently,” said Geiger.

Dieticians say they work to help folks sort through the information and misinformation.

“Do you see people coming in often with preconceived notions from Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, those types of things?” Your News Leader asked.

“Absolutely. The wildest things, anything you can imagine we have seen,” said Sam Schilling, registered dietician at Sanford in Bismarck.

After wading through the misconceptions, dieticians say most people’s underlying goal is good health.

“By following that well-rounded, balanced diet our systems are going to work better, our heart health, our blood sugars, but also our mood. So, we have a lot more energy and we are typically in a better mood when we are eating a well-rounded, balanced diet, said Schilling.

He adds that most people know the basics, like eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. He says the next step is finding ways to shop for and prepare dishes with personal health goals in mind.

“What you’re really doing is investing in yourself,” said Schilling.

He says as you seek out health information it’s a good idea to look to credible sources like doctors and registered dieticians.

When NewsGuard researchers searched TikTok in 2022 for major news topics, they reported the platform repeatedly delivered videos containing false claims in the first 20 results.