Be Wary of New Year’s Resolution Health Traps

Nearly half of Americans will try to keep New Year’s resolutions in 2015, and losing weight and eating healthier are always among the most popular goals. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet and TV about ways to lose weight and eat more nutritiously. Here are three “experts” to avoid if you’re planning on shedding a few pounds this year:

  • The Food Babe: Vani Hari is a blogger and public speaker, but she’s not a nutritionist. Instead, she relies on scaring the public about ingredients in their food with information that’s frequently blatantly wrong. One of the top posts on her website, “Is Butter Secretly Ruining Your Health?” is a perfect example of her misunderstanding of science and nutrition.

    In the post, Hari recognizes the fact that butter can be good for our health, but makes a lot of incorrect statements about what she calls “Monsanto Butter.” This butter, she claims, “is not organic, raises their cows with growth hormones linked to cancer, antibiotics and harmful pesticide ridden GMO feed.” Yet there’s no evidence that hormones given to cows to increase milk production are linked to cancer and in fact, GMO feed usually contains fewer pesticides than non-GMO feed.

    Hari’s blog is full of misinformation and links to retracted or heavily discredited research papers. You’re much better off consulting an actual registered dietician or nutritionist than listening to the Food Babe.

  • Dr. Oz: 2014 was a pretty low year for the TV doc. After years of promoting “miracle” cures and weight loss products, he was finally hauled in front of Congress to explain why he promotes products that don’t actually work. America seems to be catching on to this snake oil salesman in scrubs, but he still has a loyal following. Instead of listening to Oz’s quick-fix miracle ways to lose weight, consult your doctor for healthy eating and exercise tips.
  • Joseph Mercola: This quack doc promotes ridiculous articles like “6 ways to shrink your belly (and 5 don’t include exercise!) in addition to questioning vaccine safety, water fluoridation, vitamin K shots fr newborns, etc.. Mercola has a prominent forum to spread his messages—he’s a frequent guest of Dr. Oz and other daytime TV shows, contributor to sites like the Huffington Post, and publishes books—even though he’s been chastised by the FDA for promoting dietary supplements with bogus health claims and widely discredited by mainstream doctors.

Before you decide to follow any diet advice you find on the internet, you should do your research and talk to your doctor. Miracle supplements, organic-only diets, or “cleanses” aren’t going to get your body beach-ready. Instead, resolve to work with a medical professional to develop a healthy, sensible eating plan and an exercise routine.