Attendees of ShiftCon, a leading eco-friendly social media conference, were urged to ask the right questions and seek the truth when creating content for their social media channels. In an inspiring presentation just prior to the keynote, Nutrition Myth Buster Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., CNS, talked about the dangers of spreading misinformation. He covered hot topics such as bullying, low-fat and low-carb diets, and the truths about Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil.
ShiftCon is the premier social media conference focusing on eco-friendly values and sustainability. The organization strives to change the grocery store, one brand at a time, until it’s filled with products that better support the health of families and the planet. In Bowden’s presentation, Fact Checking the Fact Checkers: Myths and Truths in Health Advice, he explained how his childhood anger against a bully inspired his passion for fighting for what is right. He stressed influencers’ responsibility to do what’s right by fact checking information, even when it comes from experts.
His first example of expert-shared misinformation was the low-fat craze of the 1980s. At that time, most health professionals suggested limiting fat intake. But that was based on bad science. The misinformation took decades to correct.
We now understand healthy fats are an important part of a healthy diet. Bowden also referred to a 12-month study involving nearly 600 healthy, physically active urban Malaysians that showed the restricting carbohydrate consumption may have a bigger impact on heart health than restricting total fat intake.
The influencers connected with Bowden and this misinformation concept when he shared pictures of his dogs. Bowden is a devoted fan of pit bulls, a breed often mistakenly accused of being aggressive. He stressed that, when raised by responsible owners, these dogs are loving and kind. Their reputation isn’t justified.
Bowden then pivoted to palm oil, stressing that when grown by responsible farmers, this nutritious oil is good for our planet. He explained how palm oil’s vitamins and balanced fat composition support heart and brain health. Like pit bulls, palm oil’s reputation isn’t justified, especially in Malaysia where the country is working toward 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil production. He shared how influencers around the world are noticing this, sharing articles about why palm oil bans aren’t logical. He urged ShiftCon attendees to ask the right questions and seek the truth about palm oil, referring them to resources such as CheckTheFactsReportTheNews.org.
Watch Bowden’s presentation here. He references the Malaysian study at the 5:40 mark.