1) Your task for this learning journal is to find one recent (within the past 5 years) media news report about a nutritional research study, and critically evaluate the information provided. For simplicity, please use only online news articles. You must also provide a link and reference to the original research article the media report is discussing. Please answer the following questions in your evaluation and make use of the information provided in the textbook.
- In one paragraph of 5-7 sentences please provide a summary of the media report, including the food item, who the authors of the original research article are (you can refer to them by the first author’s surname; for example, PT Johnson et al., or PT Johnson’s group, etc.) , what the main findings of the study were, and a description of the subjects used (for example, animal or human; male or female; children, adults, or elderly; healthy, overweight, or diabetic).
- How can you verify the accuracy and credibility of this media report? (comment on the reputation of the website and its authors; do the links provided actually lead you to the proper information; what are the credentials of the authors; do the references lead to other reliable websites or original research articles?)
Compared to the original research article, and based on the Discussion and/or Abstract, did the media report omit any information from their report in order to “sensationalize” or “exaggerate” the findings? Make sure you provide specific examples from your sources.
2) Read the following original research article, “High Folic Acid Intake during Pregnancy Lowers Body Weight and Reduces Femoral Area and Strength in Female Rat Offspring” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678445/) – please pay attention to the abstract, introduction, animals and diet section of the methods, and discussion – and answer the following questions:
- Provide a one paragraph summary that highlights the purpose / objectives of the study, the study’s hypothesis, and the main results of the study.
- Why is this type of study significant in the field of nutritional sciences?
- Do you think the results of this type of study (animal research) can be applied to humans? (Please also comment on if you agree with the author’s interpretation of the applicability of this study to humans)
- Based on the results of this study, would you recommend that pregnant women stop taking folic acid supplements? Why or why not?
(Remember to provide examples to support your answers where it is appropriate (especially for Question 4): one of your references must be another original research paper – you can also use one of the studies that the article used as a reference. The other examples can be from other sources like the textbook or your own experiences)
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