Nutritional myths in the media exposed

News News & events

07 May 2014

Misleading myths and sensationalised information purported in the media will be exposed at CPIT on Thursday 8 May.

CPIT’s final year Bachelor of Applied Nutrition students have been studying misleading aspects of nutritional information in magazines and newspapers.

Senior Lecturer in Sports Science, Health and Wellness Dr Nick Kimber says misleading nutritional messages are common in media.

“People come across these myths or misleading information every day in popular media. We’ve asked students to explore these companies’ claims and present back on their findings.”

The students will delivering presentations on Thursday on the result of their investigations.

For example, one student will discuss advertisements in a popular women’s magazine for belVita breakfast biscuits.

“She found an advertisement for what is basically a biscuit that claimed to be a balanced breakfast which keeps you full for up to four hours,” Kimber says.

“When she looked at the fine-print it said that the biscuits should be combined with milk, which provides the protein and is low GI and makes a huge difference to the nutritional value of the meal.”

Fruits, vegetables and bread

The student approached belVita about the claims who told her they had conducted “internal studies” and declined to give any further information.

New Zealand has a high obesity rate and Kimber says more education is needed into nutritional myths and misleading information.

“In today’s world we have a real dilemma. We know more about nutrition and food than ever before but yet we are still unhealthier than ever before. These talks were about making sure people know what to look out for.”

Terms such as “natural” and “balanced breakfast” were misleading and offered little factual information, Kimber says.

“People really need to look closer at their food and think about what these terms mean. We’re teaching the students to give public health messages.”

The talks will take place on Thursday 8 May in N104 at CPIT’s Madras S Campus from 12-1pm.  The presentations will each be about ten minutes long. The public and media are welcome to attend the presentations.