As healthcare communicators, we’re here to provide trustworthy content that can ease a concern or answer a question. Our mission is to help our readers avoid confusion and misinformation, so they and their families can lead healthier lives.
With March marking National Nutrition Month, it’s crucial to keep this mission in mind. Healthy eating and dieting tips are everywhere, but this type of content can often fall prey to exaggerated or over-promised claims.
How can you avoid some of these common nutrition pitfalls? Here are some tips for writing helpful, accurate nutrition content:
- Always reference reputable sources. Look for research or studies that can back up the information you’re providing in the article, but try to stick to research from prominent universities, hospitals or government organizations. When in doubt, consult with colleagues or SMEs to gauge their opinion on an organization’s reputation. And don’t forget to double-check your sources!
- Interview an SME. Often the best resource for your content is at your own organization. Take advantage of your dietitians or clinicians and the knowledge they have to share. In addition to providing quotes for your article, they may be able to recommend additional resources or studies.
- Don’t over-promise. Researchers and doctors are still studying many of the health effects of food. We certainly don’t know everything, and the information we do have is always changing. With that in mind, never over-promise what food or diet can do. Try to use phrasing with “can” and “may” rather than “will.” For example, “Research shows that eating large amounts of processed meat may increase your risk of cancer.”
- Encourage professional consultation. As healthcare communicators, many of us don’t have the expertise and training to offer medical advice in our content. That’s where clinicians come in! With that in mind, always encourage your readers to seek professional help when it comes to nutrition and diet, whether it’s with a primary care physician or a dietitian.
- Update your content. If new studies or research comes out, be sure to update your nutrition posts to reflect this information. Updating your content can not only build trust and keep your readers informed, it can also help boost SEO.
What advice do you have for writing helpful nutrition content? Leave your ideas in the comments section below!