How best for a layman to cope with the "fire hose of information" problem when researching topics? Particularly with things like nutrition.
The two keys are….
(a) Look at the sources… Are they scientists, affiliated with universities, results published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals? Or a sort of lone-wolf writer with some sort of unusual claim? For nutrition, reading material published by people with actual degrees in nutrition, and dietitians, is usually valid, of course.
(b) Ask, “Who benefits?” Is a writer trying to sell something? Or perhaps enhance their image or practice, if a doctor, etc.
Some universities and medical centers have good outreach programs that provide legitimate information about nutrition and such. These include the Mayo Clinic and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Loma Linda University in California conducts an ongoing study about diet and health, called Adventist Health Studies . This is what researchers might call an “opportunistic” research program because the Seventh Day Adventists encourage members to live a healthy lifestyle that includes vegan/vegetarian diet. So it provides an opportunity to come one set of lifestyles with the US population at large.
What are the best topics related to nutritional education and awareness?
This is an interesting question.
In my opinion, awareness and education are important for making sound choices for your own health.
Much of the nutritional info the general public has was/is generated by advertising. Promotional material from industries and groups like the Dairy Association, North American Meat Institute, US Poultry & Egg Association, US Sugar Industry, Nestle, PepsiCo, Nabisco, as well as outdated nutritional guidelines and folklore. If your grandmother thought meat was necessary for good health, that kind of belief typically gets passed down through generations. Not always, but very often.
And, many of the foods in the standard American diet (SAD) have negative health consequences; Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, etc..
There was a time when the tobacco industry was allowed to advertise smoking cigarettes as soothing, relaxing and portray smoking as cool and fun way to fit in. A similar scenario exists today in food advertising, including fast food and junk food