How to Avoid Wellness Misinformation on Social Media
Social media can be an incredible tool for discovering nutrition and fitness content, but unfortunately, it can also connect us with less-than-knowledgeable “experts” who may be well-intentioned but can lead us down a path detrimental to our whole-body wellness. Read on to learn more about how to spot wellness misinformation on social media as well as tips on picking the right expert for you.
3 key steps to avoid health misinformation
Keep the following in mind when scrolling through your social media feed.
- Ask about credentials. When evaluating the wellness experts you’re following – both on social and in real life – start by looking at their credentials. If you don’t see them, ask for them. Do they have any credentials? And if so, are they legitimate credentials? Are those credentials related to the subject in which they claim to be an expert? Or, is the person’s knowledge self-proclaimed and out of their scope of expertise?
- Find out how much have they invested in their education. Regardless of the type of wellness information you’re looking for – whether it’s around nutrition, mental health, acupuncture, yoga or something else – find out just how much an individual has invested in their education.
- Avoid non-experts who claim expertise. Personal experience does not make an expert. Do not equate someone’s inspiring story with expertise. What works for them personally doesn’t necessarily work for you or me. A red flag for non-experts claiming expertise: everything is about them, not you. Their posts and their focus are centered on their world.
How to find the right wellness expert for you
A true expert will help you to navigate the gray area, provide the expertise to give you sustainable tools and guide you toward progress, not perfection.
To schedule a nutrition consult, whether virtually or in-person, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 985-898-7050.
Consider seeking the advice of one of the following types of experts.
Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
- Completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a U.S. regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Completed an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a healthcare facility, community agency, a foodservice corporation or a combination of one of these places with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program will run six to 12 months in length.
- Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR’s website.
- Completed continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered (NDTR)
NDTRs are educated and trained at the technical level of nutrition and dietetics practice for the delivery of safe, culturally competent food and nutrition services.
Certified Health Education Specialist (NDCHES®)
The CHES® (pronounced chez) designation signifies that an individual who has met required academic eligibility with courses in health education and has met experience requirements in the health education field, has successfully passed a comprehensive written examination and maintains an ongoing commitment to advanced-level continuing education and professional development.
Learn more about how to make the most of social media and wellness in my interview with Ochsner Health Registered Dietitian and social media expert Maria Sylvester Terry on my FUELED Wellness + Nutrition Podcast. The episode includes insights and strategies on self-protection and self-preservation, how to spot non-experts claiming expertise on social media and how to find the right nutrition and wellness expert for you.