As I have stated, nutrition is the area in which I have no formal training. However, I do have a hobby of reading text books. Since I have been looking for something to entertain my mind, I decided to do some reading on nutrition.
At Half Price Books, in the clearance section, they often have some good books for $1-$3. I picked up a number of text books on nutrition. The thing I like about text books is that they are generally used in classes at colleges and universities, which helps limit the chance of bias. I want information on nutrition, not information from people trying to promote the newest fad diet.
Even the method of reading text books is not flawless, but with the bunch of them, and the reviews on them, I will be able to find the information that agrees and look deeper into the areas in which it does not. The books also have slightly different themes, so I can see where things may vary. After this I should have a very basis of knowledge when it comes to nutrition.
Here are the books I have…
Since I work in food service, I am starting with Nutrition for Foodservice and Culinary Professionals.
The book appears to have good reviews and is controversy free.
Next is Visualizing Nutrition: Everyday Choices 2e
A few reviews on this book claim bias (a note on this at the end) but the authors are very qualified when it comes to nutrition.
Next, Nutrition for Health, Fitness, & Sports.
The book seems to have good reviews, but it is not clear if the author has credentials on nutrition. His credentials seem to be more on the sports and exercise science side of things.
Nutrition Concepts and Controversies
This book appears to have some controversy in the reviews. I will address this at the end.
Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition
In issues in the reviews for this one either.
This one can be tricky because bias does not always mean something is incorrect. One of the reviews said a book was biased because it uses the same guidelines as the American Heart Association. Another review pointed out a bias towards government organizations in another book and cited things like Monsanto. Okay, so I guess that means everything by the USDA and the FDA is worthless then too, right?
On top of that, who are the reviewers? Who is criticizing the reviewers? A couple people criticizing the critical review claimed to be a RD and another a nutrition professor. Are they really? Was the reviewer just someone that took one nutrition course?
In school I studied the Evolution-Creationism controversy and creationists would say biologists were biased. Actually the only people qualified to talk about evolution are biologists, so maybe their bias is justified.
The key thing to remember when it comes to bias is that it is something to pay attention to and maybe research more. We cannot just dismiss something because it appears bias. If three books say one thing and the fourth says something else, now we have a reason to dig deeper. Hopefully reading all of these books will clear up some of these claimed issues.
Science and research is hard, and even when we do get reliable data, not all scientists agree. I think nutrition in general is just one of those topics in which there is a lot of solid evidence for a large number of things.
I will keep everyone updated on my progress.