I thought this would be a good topic for some general discussion. In some of the “top stories” feed below I see some really questionable ones. For example, the story about Oreos being as addictive as Cocaine. Did anyone actually click through and read the article? It seems like a pretty stupid study to me. In test #1, they gave a lab rat the choice to go through a maze with two endings. One with an oreo and one with a rice cake. The rat preferred the oreo. Next they put the lab rat in the maze where one end had toe reward of cocaine and one end had the reward of a water/saline solution. They rat preferred the cocaine. Now suddenly, there is an article saying Oreos are as Addictive as cocaine!!! It’s pretty ridiculous, yet as personal trainers and group-x instructors these are exactly the kinds of tidbits and news bites we post on our facebook walls for our clients to see. Aren’t we doing them a disservice? How about the article about the “Best poses for digestion” also linked in the top stories news feed. Did you click through and read the fine print that this is based on a SINGLE yoga instructors opinion, with no scientific research to back it up? It frustrates me the amount of bad info we spread to our clients based on sensational titles. How much research do you put in to the things you share on your Facebook and Twitter feeds to your clients? Do you make a conscious effort to correct the misinformation out there? It seems like sometimes, we as professionals are our own worst enemies! What do you think?
The responses are all great. Susan’s suggestion that we stay within our scope of practice is right on the mark. I wouldn’t say that the “misinformation,” as you call it, is the “fault” of fitness professionals.
Our responsibility as fitness professionals is to stay current on the latest reliable research, from peer-reviewed journals, and to respond to popular press releases with a focus based on our education and on scientific research.
Who is “they,” as Natalie suggests, is always a great question to ask in response to a clients comment that “they say.”