Dazed and Confused--making sense of nutrition research

I'm assuming if you are reading this post you know me either as a friend or colleague.  I bet many of you have asked me some nutrition question at one point in time. And if you have ever asked me nutrition advice about your diet, you've probably gotten one of my standard responses, "you can eat anything you want in moderation." You know who you are! Does that statement annoy you? I bet it does and I do it on purpose (another post for another day)! Anyways, this post isn't about eating in moderation or what you should or should not eat; it's actually about all those nutrition headlines we see in the news on an daily basis! Because after I get the question about what someone should eat and if it's bad for you, I usually get the question about the latest nutrition headline of the day and what my thoughts are.  And to that I am usually very wish washy and most likely cannot answer your question or give my opinion right on the spot (it depends on if I have read the actual study).  I bet that also annoys most of you! Jeez, now that I'm writing this down you all probably walk away feeling very frustrated! Please trust me, I have a point to my madness!

With the nutrition headlines though, I won't give my opinion unless I have read the study and had some very important questions answered.  

-How was the study funded and who funded it? Is the company funding the research selling a product/supplement?

-How was the study performed/designed? Randomized controlled trial, meta analysis, retrospective, prospective? 

-Size of the study. Is it a small group or large. The answer will tell us if the results could be by chance if the findings could be more realistic. 

How to make sense of the constant onslaught of nutrition studies

Did you read the article yet? Good! So now you all know why I can't give an opinion by just having read a headline. And an added bonus by having read this article is now you all have the tools to assess the research for yourselves!  At very least this article will make you think about all those headlines that come across your Facebook news feed and if they are significant to your diet.