Mis-Dis Information: Keeping Focused on Evidence-informed Nutrition Practice Recommendations for Autism Spectrum Disorder
The rise in misinformation and disinformation throughout and following the COVID-19 global pandemic is well documented (1,2). Social media has intensified the rapid spread of misinformation to the public about nutrition and health (3), which has implications for dietetic professionals (4).
The danger of misinformation is particularly noted for individuals who are more susceptible to false information - including older adults and youth (5). Furthermore, these are populations that are at more risk of experiencing the impact of misinformation and disinformation. A recent Canadian news article
addresses this vulnerability among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those caring for them, noting the implications of social media promoting harmful “cures” for ASD. This extends into perpetuating myths about nutritional interventions that are based on limited or non-existent evidence (6). The impacts of misinformation on living with and treating ASD are global.
The PEN System: Evidence-informed Nutrition Recommendations to Support Your Practice
Dietitians can help clients who rely on social media for answers about health and nutrition concerns by addressing their questions with evidence-informed answers. Take a look at our recent evidence-based knowledge products on this topic:
Do you have a question related to nutrition interventions and autism spectrum disorder that you don't see in the PEN System? Reach out to us by submitting a content idea
- Clemente-Suárez VJ, Navarro-Jiménez E, Simón-Sanjurjo JA, Beltran-Velasco AI, Laborde-Cárdenas CC, Benitez-Agudelo JC, Bustamante-Sánchez Á, Tornero-Aguilera JF. Mis-Dis Information in COVID-19 Health Crisis: A Narrative Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 27;19(9):5321. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19095321. PMID: 35564714. Abstract available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35564714/
- Krech R, Cascini F, Nagyova I, Sweet M. Dealing with infodemic and health mis/dis-information: new public health organizations' proposals. Population Medicine. 2023;5(Supplement):A648. Available from: https://doi.org/10.18332/popmed/165313
- Rowe S, Alexander N. Fighting Nutrition and Health Misinformation: Enlisting the Public's Help. Nutrition Today. 2022 Jan 1;57(1):34-7. DOI: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000521.
- Charbonneau E, Mellouli S, Chouikh A, Couture LJ, Desroches S. The Information Sharing Behaviors of Dietitians and Twitter Users in the Nutrition and COVID-19 Infodemic: Content Analysis Study of Tweets. JMIR Infodemiology. 2022 Sep 16;2(2):e38573. doi: 10.2196/38573. PMID: 36188421. Abstract available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36188421/
- Nelson T, Kagan N, Critchlow C, Hillard A, Hsu A. The Danger of Misinformation in the COVID-19 Crisis. Mo Med. 2020 Nov-Dec;117(6):510-512. PMID: 33311767. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33311767/
- Narzisi A, Masi G, Grossi E. Nutrition and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Between False Myths and Real Research-Based Opportunities. Nutrients. 2021 Jun 17;13(6):2068. doi: 10.3390/nu13062068. PMID: 34204187. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8234602/