382. Same Study, Different Headlines: Combating Confusion in Nutrition News Coverage

Tuesday, October 29
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: Terrace Ballroom I/II
CE: 1.5
Level 2 – Intermediate
Activity Code: 149659

It happens all the time: a peer-reviewed journal article publishes, and in the rush to be the first to print, reporters skim the abstract or press release to write about the study’s conclusions and what it means to the average person. What follows are diametrically opposed headlines with drastically different consumer calls-to-action, as happened when results of the National Institutes of Health-funded VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) research were released in November 2018. When national publications including the New York Times and Washington Post publish disparate stories on the exact same study, it is incumbent on dietitians, particularly those who work with the media, to help set the record straight. In this session, speakers will explore how media can come up with different conclusions using the same set of facts; what dietitians as the nutrition experts can do when these situations arise; and how dietitians can help get in front of news stories before they devolve into consumer mistrust of advances in nutrition science.

Award Presentation: Outstanding Social Media Award
Teaspoon Communications – Serena Ball, MS, RDN and Deanna Segrave-Daly, RDN

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe in greater detail how nutrition science is covered in the media.
  • Address patients’ confusion regarding nutrition science and recommendations.
  • Apply critical thinking skills in reading both scientific literature as well as media publications covering recently published studies.

Learning Need Codes:

  • 1070 Leadership, critical and strategic thinking
  • 9020 Evaluation and application of research
  • 9050 Publication, communications of research outcomes

Performance Indicator:

  • 3.1.6 Takes an active role in sharing information and knowledge.
  • 6.3.8 Interprets, analyzes, synthesizes and critically appraises research findings.
  • 8.1.1 Interprets and applies evidence-based comparative standards for determining nutritional needs.


  • Elana Natker, MS, RD


    Sage Leaf Communications

  • Speaker(s)

  • William Harris, PhD

    Professor of Medicine

    University of South Dakota

  • Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN


    Toby Amidor Nutrition, PC