Biology Magazine

Cognitive and Behavioral Nutrition: Reading the Labels

By Michaelsweiss
Just because a person who plays a doctor on TV says something is good for you, should you listen?
"...before most of us put anything into our bodies, we look at what is in it -- calories, salt, fat grams, etc -- and decide whether we will incorporate it (literally, put it into our bodies). I then ask this question: Do you use that same level of care and consideration of evidence when deciding whether to incorporate ideas and information into your mind or behaviors into your way of living?"
"Well, here's some good news. You can find "cognitive nutrition" and "behavioral nutrition" labels out there. You just need to know what they look like. They're not presented in clean small squares like the nutrition facts on the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts' box, but they do exist in the form of good scientific evidence. And how do we find this information and how do we know what is good scientific evidence? This is where we all need to ratchet up our levels of skepticism and thoughtfulness and decide what we are going to allow into our minds. While not a perfect rule of thumb (witness the autism-measles vaccine fraud), publication of a research finding in a peer-reviewed journal (articles are read and judged by experts in the field before being accepted for publication) is a good indicator of good cognitive and behavioral nutrition. We also need to attend carefully to people who we have good reason to believe are well-trained in making judgments about the goodness or badness of scientific data and their implications."
Link To Full Aricle
Interesting piece published on January 12, 2011 by research psychologist Marshall P. Duke.  With such an extraordinary amount of good and bad information available to us everyday through the internet, mainstream media and social interaction, it is important that we become informed consumers of knowledge.  "If we are going to do something that will affect the physical and/or emotional health and well being of ourselves and our families, we should base what we do on sound, reliable, scientific data -- on good evidence derived from good science."  Dr Duke provides several suggestions to help discern fact from fiction in order to make informed decisions.

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