Nutrition Research Integrity: To Believe or Not to Believe? That Is the Question!

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Nutrition research integrity has become a hotly debated topic. How much confidence we can place in the results of either an individual research study or the recommendations derived from a systematic review that combines multiple studies is crucial in interpreting the research findings. Using research as the basis of public policy is dependent upon the critical appraisal and description of the amount of confidence that can be placed in the research results. In the early 2000s, this was referred to as the “quality” of the individual research study. The methodology has continued to be refined, and more recently, this has been referred to as evaluating the “risk of bias.” This refinement focuses more on the aspects of the research that are likely to compromise whether we can “believe the results” and set the stage for a thoughtful dialogue about the strengths and weaknesses of nutrition research itself, versus focusing on study funding.

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