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Biological Sciences

Evaluating Research on Food and Cooking

By the end of this session you should be able to:

  • Understand some of the types of studies that are done in food and nutrition, and their strengths and limitations
  • Understand how to read a research paper on a nutrition or other health topic
  • Be able to ask critical questions about the quality and appropriateness of food and nutrition research as reported in the media

Our case study:

We will look at a study done on whether dark chocolate and almonds affect cardiovascular risk factors. 

Media report of the study: Reuters news article on dark chocolate and almonds

Original Study: Lee, Y., Berryman, C., West, S., Chen, C., Blumberg, J., Lapsley, K., Preston, A., Fleming, J. and Kris‐Etherton, P. (2017). Effects of Dark Chocolate and Almonds on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Individuals: A Randomized Controlled‐Feeding TrialJournal of the American Heart Association, [online] 6(12). 

Resources for understanding and assessing research articles:


Sources of Good Evidence on Nutrition and Diet

Spotting bad science: the infographic below is a rough guide to spotting bad science, from the chemistry infographic site Compound Interest (