Many popular magazines and websites frequently reference new studies and recent test results, but how do you know if this information is accurate?  Sometimes these references come from scientific research articles, however they could be taken out of context or they may not be from reputable resources at all.  Its important to keep up with the latest studies, just don’t consider everything you read to be factual.  Here’s what to consider:

Look for well-controlled, randomized studies, most desirably ones that study very large populations over long periods of time.  Studies published in medical journals or those that make reference to journals are a good place to start.  Results should be dependable, as there shouldn’t be a lot of variables.  Keep in mind that participants could be non-compliant to the study guidelines or report dishonest results.  A good rule of thumb that we southern gals like to follow is, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”;  a single study is never enough.  If you keep seeing the same information that is consistent from different sources and the sources are credible, there is probably some truth to it.

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Consider this: if someone asked you what you ate for breakfast this morning and then used your answer in the the results of a study, would the results provide a good reflection of the what you eat for breakfast every day?

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