find a claim from google or newspaper or digital journal.  for example is diet soda cause cancer?
So the purpose of this paper is not to summarize the article or summarize the claim, but to critique it.  You are being a critical critique or evaluator of who is making the claim and the quality of the evidence to support the claim.  the first step is to pick your topic and find either an advertisement, newspaper article, or a documentary that’s making a claim and that is going to be your topic.  first, there are three paragraphs basically that you’re going to be writing about in your critique your evaluation of this claim that you’ve chosen. 
The first thing is you’re going to evaluate the source, who is making the claim( who is the author, who is making this claim, and why or why not are edible. Why, or why not, are they unbiased why or why not, should you believe them.)(are they nutrition or registered dietitian?  there is a big difference between someone who calls themselves a nutritionist versus someone who is a registered dietitian.) another thing you want to always look for is, is there any conflict of interest, this is really important, what does that mean it means are they trying to sell you something. You also when evaluating your source will look at where the claim is published. ( if it is from peer reviewed professional scientific journal it would be a very credible source)
library guide:
 In the second paragraph, you are going to evaluate the research behind the claim. (testimonials, anecdotal, or before/after pictures for example) on the other hand, you’re going to be looking to see if there was good quality research cited in the claim or not. are they:  1-Epidemiological / Observational Studies or 2- Intervention / Experimental Studies ? ( how many subjects they used? was it just based on a sample size of five people or did they do a study with thousands of people?  And how long and who were the subject of the study?)
In the last paragraph you’re going to do some actual search in the library that means going into the library databases and finding 2 peer-reviewed Research articles on your subject and that’s going to help you make the final evaluation about is the claim that you found on Google:
•How many studies show a positive vs. negative or “null” effect?
•Any warning about adverse side effects/risks? For example, if there are any negative effects or risks of taking that product?!
•Is the effective “dose” the same as what’s commonly consumed in a food or supplement?  Something else to consider is the dose that was used in research studies, the same as what’s consumed in food and supplements?  
Any acknowledgment of other factors that have a more significant impact on the outcome than the one being studied?
 does the author put things in perspective and give both sides that are being responsible
Los Angeles Mission College Sheri Barke, MPH, RD, CSSD
Department of Health & Human Performance Nutrition 21
Evaluation of Nutrition Claim
50 points possible

Choose a nutrition-related claim to critique. The claim can come from a popular magazine,
newspaper, website, book, documentary, video, social media page, product label or
advertisement. The claim can be related to any popular diet, supplement, food, ingredient, or
eating strategy as it relates to any aspect of health, fitness, wellness, or performance. To
receive full credit, please choose a claim (from one of the above sources) that cites some
supporting “research” and contains enough information to do a thoughtful critique (5 pts.).

Write a 2-3 page, typed, double-spaced paper (12 pt. font with 1” margins) in which you
thoroughly answer the 3 questions below and include your references (in either MLA or APA
citation format) at the end. NOTE: Your citations should include your nutrition claim source, as
well as 2 additional scientific research references (from peer-reviewed journals or credible
government/professional organizations) that either support or refute the claim (5 pts.).

Please proof-read your paper for correct grammar/spelling (5 pts.).

#1. What is the nutrition claim being made and how trustworthy is the source? 10 pts.
• Who is the author/person making the claim? Do this person’s credentials, work
affiliations, education, and experience provide you with confidence that they are a
credible and unbiased source of nutrition information?
• Where is the claim published? Is this a reliable source of nutrition information? Who
paid for the publication? Is there any conflict of interest or potential sources of bias?

#2. How good is the “research” supporting the claim? 10 pts.
• Is it anecdotal/testimonials or actual research published in peer-reviewed journals?
• How strong is the study design (observational vs. intervention; randomized, double-
blind, placebo-controlled)? Any confounding factors that may affect the study’s results?
• Who were the subjects, how many subjects were used, what was the study duration?
NOTE: If any of the above details are not provided by the claim’s source and therefore
unknown to you, that weakens the claim’s credibility – be sure to state that in your paper!

#3. What is your overall evaluation of the nutrition claim? Is the claim put in proper
perspective and presented in a responsible manner? 15 pts.
• Any mention to how many studies support vs. reject the claim?
• Any warning about adverse side effects or risks?
• Any acknowledgement of other factors that have a more significant impact on health,
fitness, wellness, and performance than the one being mentioned in the claim?
NOTE: Please use 2 scientific research references (from peer-reviewed journals or
government/professional organizations) to give your overall evaluation about the claim.

Los Angeles Mission College Sheri Barke, MPH, RD, CSSD
Department of Health & Human Performance Nutrition 21

SLO Assessment Rubric for Critique Paper

Your paper will be graded based on the following scoring rubric.

CATEGORY 4 Exemplary
(43-50 pts.)
3 Good
(35-42 pts.)
2 Acceptable
(27-34 pts.)
1 Unacceptable
(0-26 pts.)
Article or Claim
(5 points)
Article or claim
clearly relates to
the given
assignment. It
cites some
“research” and
contains enough
information to do
a thoughtful

Article or claim
clearly relates to
the given
assignment. It
cites some
“research” and
contains limited
information to do
a thoughtful
Article or claim
clearly relates to
the given
But, does not
cite any
“research” and
does not contain
enough info to
do a thoughtful
Article or claim
has little
relationship to
the given
Content of Paper/
(35 points)
The paper clearly
addresses all the
questions asked
with supporting
understanding of
the points.

The paper
answers most of
the questions
asked with
comments, but it
is lacking in some
The paper
addresses the
questions asked
and provides no
The paper does
not address the
(5 points)
There are no
errors in
grammar or
spelling that
distract the
reader from the
There are 1-2
errors in
grammar or
spelling that
distract the
reader from the
There are 3-4
errors in
grammar or
spelling that
distract the
reader from the
There are more
than 4 errors in
grammar or
spelling that
distract the
reader from the
Format / Citations
(5 points)
Paper was
written following
given guidelines.
Citations were
included at end
for original article
or claim, along
with 2 scientific

Paper was
written following
given guidelines.
Citations were
included, but not
in correct format
or missing 1
Paper written
following given
Citations were
included, but
not in correct
format and/or
missing 1-2
Paper written
following given

Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a type of eating strategy that has become quite a bit popular today.
It has been mentioned throughout magazine articles, as well as through fitness gurus on
Instagram, becoming so popular that even my brother has changed his eating strategy over to
intermittent fasting. It is said that intermittent fasting not only is a tool for weight loss but also
has amazing health benefits.
In the article, “A decade of intermittent fasting” written by Nan Hie In, a health coach
named Dali Harilela claims that intermittent fasting has helped keep her slim and healthy. This
health coach does not appear to have any credentials, she is simply named a health coach,
making it appear that she may not be as credible. This nutrition claim also is published on a
website called the South China Morning Post in the health and wellness section, it is possibly not
the greatest form of reliable nutrition information. In this article, a naturopath named Joelle
Bradford is also mentioned and he is said to work for Hong Kong’s Integrated Medicine
Institute. He supports health coach Dali’s claim about intermittent fasting, I think that him being
a naturopath and what he believes in makes it slightly biased, he’s confirming something he quite
possibly already believes in because he claims that we as a society already eat too much sugar
and food, with IF you eat less food and sugar because of the restricted times without any food.
Dali Harilela explains to us how long she has done intermittent fasting and how it has
made her feel making it more of anecdotal evidence. She explains how she has done IF for about
10 years now and before IF she worked out regularly and followed a standard diet but claims that
her body wasn’t at its best, not until she tried intermittent fasting. I feel like here she left out
some important key points, like mentioning what a standard diet meant, it makes it unclear as to
whether she was actually eating a healthy and balanced diet before IF. She also could have
already been a very healthy individual before this eating strategy was incorporated into her diet,
making the claim about its health benefits of lowering risks of various disorders unreliable.
Although, in this article, a study made in 2017 at the University of Southern California is cited
and used in text. This study is said to have shown that fasting for at least five days a month
lowered the risk of life threatening diseases. The study performed is notably a strong one based
on the design of it being randomized. It used 100 participants, all of which were adults between
the ages of 20 to 70 years old. The subjects participated from April 2013 to July 2015. These
participants were placed into two groups one being the control group and the other was the test
group. This study was published in a peer reviewed journal named Science Translational
Medicine. Based on the research conducted on this health claim, it makes the health coach much
more reliable by adding consistent research to support her claim, it makes me believe that this
claim can actually be very true. It proved that it helps lose weight, the people in the test group
lost an average of about 6 pounds in the first 3-month period, and their waist lines shrunk about
one to two inches. There was a decrease in all their baseline numbers, which included blood
pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.
Throughout the article there is no mention about how many studies have been conducted
to support the claim. Another downfall to this is that there is not much said about what the risks
associated with this eating strategy are, only thing stated is that there are many concerns people
have with this type of eating, but that many of their worries happen to be untrue or incorrect. It
would have helped to include risk factors and potential side effects because everything has a risk,
and it would allow the reader to be able to make a more knowledgeable decision as to whether
they support this claim or not. When important information is left out and only positive
information is listed it makes it harder for the reader to make a decision for themselves because
they are persuaded by only the positive research. From what I have read in the article and the
study conducted, there does appear to be other factors involved that could have greatly impacted
their health. For example, the test group was placed on a special diet that contained a strict
portion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, along with the fasting making their calorie intake
very minimal. This could have had a great impact on health because of the change in diet, so the
results are not solely based on IF.
Overall, I do believe that intermittent fasting helps increase overall health and helps with
weight-loss due to the restrictions with eating windows. When there are restrictions there are less
calories being taken in. Although, the peer reviewed articles from the Journal of Translational
Medicine and Nutritional Journal, state that there is still not enough research done yet to support
if it is effective in the long term. I feel that if done right, with the proper nutrition, so having a
healthy balanced diet, intermittent fasting can be a great tool for weight-loss and health
improvement. The trials performed in both scientific journals support the claim that IF does
allow you to trim fat and decrease health biomarkers significantly. Based on this research,
intermittent fasting is actually something I would consider trying because of what has been
clinically proven thus far.

Work cited
In, N.-H. (2018, May 15). A decade of intermittent fasting – see how one health coach did it.
Retrieved September 26, 2019, from

Gersema, E. (2017, February 6). Scientifically designed fasting diet lowers risks for major
diseases. Retrieved September 26, 2019, from

Klempel, M. C., Kroeger, C. M., Surabhi Bhutani, Trepanowski, J. F., & Varady, K. A. (2012).
Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and
cardio-protection in obese women. Nutrition Journal, 11, 98–117.

Moro, T., Tinsley, G., Bianco, A., Marcolin, G., Pacelli, Q. F., Battaglia, G., … Paoli, A. (2016).
Effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding (16/8) on basal metabolism, maximal
strength, body composition, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors in resistance-
trained males. Journal of Translational Medicine, 14, 1–10.

Examples of Nutrition Claims
Claims about a popular diet that is supposed to change your body, reverse a disease, or dramatically improve your health or performance in some way.
Claims about a particular food, beverage or dietary supplement that is supposed to help you lose weight, gain muscle, boost immunity, improve mood or memory, lower blood cholesterol or blood sugar levels, fight inflammation, remove toxins, prevent or cure a disease, make your hair/nails/skin/digestion better, slow aging…
Claims about a particular ingredient in foods/beverages that’s supposed to be “bad,” “toxic,” or contribute to a particular health problem (acne, autism, ADHD, PCOS, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, aging, hormone disruption, infertility, obesity, digestive problems)…
Sources of Nutrition Claims
Magazines, Newspapers, Blogs
Books, Videos, Documentaries
Advertisements, Social Media Influencers
Product label, brochure, website
Scientific peer-reviewed journals
How to choose a claim…
Magazine article or blog claiming Intermittent fasting or whole 30 or keto is the answer to weight loss. Vitamin D/C/zinc and COVID19.
LA Times article reporting on a new study that shows chocolate or red wine protects the heart (in time for Valentine’s Day)
Book or Youtube video that claims sugar or wheat or gluten is toxic
Documentary that claims plant-based diet best for performance (The Game Changers)
Advertisement about new dietary supplement or “cleanse” for brain health, skin health, digestive health (turmeric, collagen, probiotics, spirulina, apple cider vinegar)
Website claiming need certain amount/type of protein to get huge muscles. Or no soy/no dairy for PCOS or fertility.
Evaluating Nutrition Research & Claims
Is the source credible & unbiased?
“Nutritionists” vs. “Registered Dietitians” – what’s the difference?
Self-proclaimed guru, fitness trainer, massage therapist, store clerk
MDs, DCs, PhDs – are they always reliable?
Is there any conflict of interest? Are they trying to sell you something?
Publication source
Internet site (.com or .org, .edu, .gov)
Magazine, newsletter, brochure, trade journal (paid advertising)
Peer-reviewed, professional/scientific journal
Most “nutritionists” have little to no formal education/degree (e.g. famous people, fitness trainer/massage therapist/GNC or health food store clerk). Some “nutritionists” do have a high level of education/degree, but they may or may not be highly educated in nutrition
Conflict of interest – Juice plus, herbal life, arbonne sales rep directly trying to sell you something or researcher/author/speaker could be employed/paid by the company trying to sell something (funded by beef/dairy council)
Example of ephedra article in fitness magazine, local SCV magazines
Evaluating Nutrition Research & Claims
How good is the research?
Study design
No systematic method at all
testimonials, anecdotal, before/after
Epidemiological / Observational Studies
only show correlations, NOT cause and effect (due to confounding variables)
Intervention / Experimental Studies
CAN show cause & effect (because confounding variables are controlled)
Best if study 1) randomized, 2) placebo-controlled, AND 3) double-blinded
# of subjects / type of subjects
Study length
Especially when looking at long term weight loss and health/safety
Epidemiological: Look at population of people’s lifestyle habits and look for associations/correlations with health/disease outcomes.
Ex. Study shows eating ice cream is associated with drowning (that doesn’t show eating ice cream causes drowning…what confounding factor might be the reason for the association? People tend to eat more ice cream in the summer. People also tend to swim more in the summer.)
Ex. Poor sperm quality linked to more phone/laptop use at night. Confounding factor is less quality sleep linked with both.
Ex: People who drink red wine have less heart disease (based on Mediterranean diet, but could be less sat fat red meat, more olive oil MUFAs, more fruits/vegs, more active lifestyle, and/or genetics/ethnicity)
Ex: Americans eating more carbs and gaining weight (but americans also eating more calories!)
Intervention: Give a group of people an intervention/treatment and then see what effect it has on health/disease outcome.
Ex: Hydroxycut/diet pill 8 week placebo-controlled study with same diet/exercise (but not randomized)
Caffeine revs metabolism initially but effects wear off, no effect on weight/body fat loss. Long term keto diet effects?
Subjects: Animals/rats vs. humans., Post menopausal women vs. young men (soy), congestive heart failure pts. Vs. young men (arginine/nitric oxide supplements)
Be cautious with Observational Studies
Observational studies do NOT prove one thing causes the other.
They only show that two things are associated with one another.
The REAL cause may be due to a confounding variable that is associated with both things.
NOTE: In this example, poor quality sleep is the confounding variable since it results from late night electronics and is the real cause of poor sperm quality.
Evaluating Nutrition Research & Claims
Are the findings put in perspective?
How many studies show a positive vs. negative or “null” effect?
Any warning about adverse side effects/risks?
Is the effective “dose” the same as what’s commonly consumed in a food or supplement?
Any acknowledgement of other factors that have a more significant impact on the outcome than the one being studied?
e.g. Risk of getting cancer from NOT eating vegetables is far greater than the cancer risk from ingesting trace amounts of pesticide residues on those vegetables.
# studies: Anyone can “cherry-pick” studies to find only those 2 that support the claim (without mentioning the hundreds that don’t)
Safety: Keto and intermittent fasting in certain populations harmful
Reasonable dose: omega 3s DHA added to foods
Physiologically significant: pesticide resides may be higher in conventional than organic, but the cancer risk of NOT eating any fruits and veggies is far greater
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