Study designs

Study designs

Food and health research is often in the media spotlight. After all, everyone eats! Although they often lead to big headlines, it is rare that a single study provides a final, complete answer. Rather they should be seen as additions to the existing body of research on a topic. Understanding the advantages and limitations of different study designs can help us all figure out what to make of original research for ourselves. Critical thinking is essential!

The levels of evidence in nutrition research

06 September 2023

Nutrition and health are inextricably linked. Nutrition researchers try to unravel these connections in order to arrive at reliable nutritional advice. However, not all types of research can be used to draw equally firm conclusions. Understanding the different types of study designs is important for distinguishing between reliable and less robust findings. This article explores the various study designs commonly used in nutrition research, their purpose, how strong their evidence is and discusses the strengths and limitations of each design.

How strong is the scientific evidence?

06 September 2023

Have you ever wondered how strong the scientific evidence is behind the latest dietary trends and health claims? This infographic dives into common study designs (systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomised controlled trials, observational research, including prospective cohort studies, case-control studies, cross-sectional studies, animal studies, cell studies, and anecdotes and case studies) used by nutrition researchers to explore the links between nutrition and health and will help you understand the advantages and limitations of each design to help you distinguish between reliable and less robust findings.

How to read graphs

06 September 2023

In an era where information is readily available, graphs have become essential tools for conveying data in a visually appealing and concise manner. Understanding how to read them accurately is crucial for making informed decisions. However, graphs can be misleading if not interpreted correctly or are even made misleading on purpose at times. This infographic shows common cases of misleading graphs, including leaving out data, not labelling data properly or skipping numbers on the vertical axis. Here are some handy tips to help you identify misleading graphs.

How to accurately read a scientific paper

12 December 2018

How reliable are scientific studies? Here are seven things to look for when reading a scientific paper.

In search of quality: The scientific peer review process

01 April 2013

Have you ever wondered how the work of scientists is checked? When a new finding is published, how do we know it is sound?

Understanding scientific studies

01 January 2008

The media, health professionals, and educators are the gatekeepers of today's food and health information. They have a large influence on what consumers hear, read, and believe about food and health...