If you’re a fan of John Oliver, you might have caught the latest episode of his humorous news show, Last Week Tonight. This week he took down so-called scientific reports that get promoted by the media, without having any truth behind them. Think of the articles you see popping up on Facebook about chocolate being good for pregnant women, or red wine curing cancer. In many cases, the actual study has little to do with what the media is reporting. A study may find that a certain amount of chocolate has no effect on pregnant women, and the next day everyone is saying pregnant woman should eat it. Those are two very different things.
A lot of these studies go mainstream and suddenly everyone is a health expert. You may feel ill and someone will tell you to cut out eggs from your diet, or that tomatoes will prevent cancer. Another person may tell you that tomatoes cause cancer. In fact, several foods have been reported to be both good and bad in various studies. There is no definitive answer either way.
You can drive yourself crazy trying to keep track of it all. If you have health issues, be wary of this advice, whether it comes from your favorite morning show or your next door neighbor. Talk to your doctor and use common sense. If you see a study that sounds interesting, dig deeper and find the original research so you can put it in context and judge its merits for yourself.