“I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss”

A pretty tame photo of a woman eating chocolate compared to the stories the press ran on a fake nutrition study (reporting as truth, of course!). Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and photostock.

A pretty tame photo of a woman eating chocolate compared to the stories the press ran on a fake nutrition study (reported as truth, of course!). Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and photostock.

Here’s how easy it is to fool the media: with a fake nutrition study about accelerating weight loss by eating chocolate every day.

You’d think science reporters would ask probing questions about how the study was created (research criteria, how many subjects, diversity of subjects, food tracking, controls in place, etc.). How about interviewing scientist not affiliated with the study for their opinions? Or at least a Google search to confirm that the Institute of Diet & Health actually existed.

Of course not.

This is what “fact-based” journalism looks like, my friends. Just reprint a press release, then add a sensational headline with a dash of erotic photos of women eating chocolate.  Heh! I must have missed that class in Journalism School.

The fake study is actually part of a documentary on nutrition junk-science that airs next week in Europe (hopefully it will find its way to the US soon).

But the media isn’t all to blame. We are way too easy to manipulate because we want a magic bullet, and not the work required to get healthy.

It’s time for us to wise up and not reward these hacks by visiting their sites, buying their magazines (especially those Women’s magazines), and certainly not falling for these sensational headlines…it’s all just click bate.

 

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