• Jasmine Blake Hollywood, MS, HHP

Food Concepts: Good Advice and Bad Advice

Bad Advice

Although most people think it is a great idea to read any old blog or handout in regards to health, there is a system in place to correctly educate people who seek advice for their health concerns. Reading any blog isn't always the answer, because many blog writers are not real experts. In fact, most blog writers are just, "bloggers." Meaning, they blog about any topic.

The government does not require people to list resources of where bloggers retrieved their information. Therefore, the information a person could be reading could in fact be false, or just plain opinionated. It is crucial to know that these bloggers or writers are sometimes voicing their personal opinions or beliefs, and sometimes they voice their personal experiences. Also, they may use references as tools to write blogs, but the references are not backed by scientific proof or considered primary research resources. Thus, these personal opinionated, self believed blog articles eventually lead people in the wrong direction and could do them harm in the long run.

Blogging Practitioners

Practitioners in the health field receive education through schooling governed by federal laws. This enables practitioners to successfully educate their clients and patients during private practice and clinical health visits. As part of their education, it is ethical to reference their information. They are taught this because the health field is built on evidence-based practice, and no practitioner wants to harm their client by giving them bad advice.

Sometimes, these practitioners like to blog about the things they have experienced through internships, research, and client trials and error. They do this to keep their clients and followers well educated. These blogs help practitioners further educate their client, so they can focus on interventions that cannot be handled on a blog site. When they do this, they are taught to reference their findings, so people know where they retrieved their information from.

What is considered bad advice? When it comes to our health, no one individual should get advice from anyone who is not board certified or licensed in their state. Unfortunately, most bloggers still write health articles regardless of licensing requirements. Thus, the people reading these articles, take this bad advice, try to do what is advised and end up living a poorer quality lifestyle, then they started with originally.

citing sources is what maintains systems

Bio-Individual Nutrition

This leads me to my point. Every single person is different from another, and this is the case even with twins. Explaining one's health to them is always a case-by-case basis because every person in the world has their own bio-individual fingerprint, and what works for one person, may not work for another. Meaning, just because it worked for one blogger or writer, doesn't mean it will work for the reader. Therefore, when it comes to health, it is important that people writing or blogging write about facts and reference their findings.

Educating people with facts is important so these people can get the appropriate care that is needed for their current health concerns. This reason is so that the information being relayed in not in any way misleading. Health professional bloggers and writers have a duty, or more like an oath they made. This duty is to provide health care governed by the federal and state laws they reside in; and that is assessing properly and staying within their scope of practice, including referencing their health findings in their written works.

The System

the system ensures our safety

This is exactly why the government created the system, to outline what is true or false. I have also created a system here at Discover Your Greatest Self. It is a system that when blogging or outlining a particular subject or topic that viewers are interested in, requires referenced material. These topics are researched, reviewed, and then prepared as a blog or handout. If there is no referenced material and the blog is solely opinionated or from personal learning experience, then the reference line will state, "No references needed. All the information can be retrieved from the public domain."

All of the written works provided here at Discover Your Greatest Self follow the guidelines of te system. This is so clients, students, researchers, and practitioner alike know the information they are reading is a form of good quality advice, and the advice is true and backed by clinical evidence. Plus, handouts and blogs are great ways to inform clients or patients of the information they wish to view. This ultimately enables people to make a more clear decision about their health concern(s) and if the road they are chasing is the one they would like to say on.

As a nutrition coach practitioner in the field of functional nutrition, I design the handouts and blogs for the standard client. This way they feel comfortable in knowing "what" they reading, they get the "why" they are reading, and understand the "how-to" of what they are reading. Plus, the best way to get information to a person in the community about basic food principles is to ensure what they are reading is referenced and true. I find that more people appreciate this technique and ultimately feel better about their health decisions moving forward.


  1. Bauer, K. D. & Liou, D. (2016). Nutrition counseling and education skill development (3rd Ed.). Cengage Learning.

  2. Jonse, A. R., Siegler, M., & Winslade, W. J. (2015). Clinical ethics: A practical approach to ethical decisions in clinical practice. McGraw Hill Education

  3. Mahan, L. K. & Raymond, J. L. (2017). Krause’s food and the nutrition care process (14th Ed.). Elsevier

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