By Gina Mennett Lee, M.Ed.
In thinking about the most important tip I could share with you this year, I couldn’t help but be influenced by the current political climate. In this new age of “fake news,” headlines for the sake of clicks, and internet trolls, now more than ever it is important to be aware of where information is coming from.
How many of us have had to set the record straight when a well-meaning friend or family member announces that now there is a cure for food allergy? I don’t blame people for misunderstanding the information, as the headlines often not do not reflect the actual content of the story. Because our lives are so busy, many do not read beyond the headlines. Even when the headline does reflect the content of the story, there are times that the content itself is skewed by which information the author chooses to share and which information the author omits. This has been going on for years but has worsened recently. Being able to discern what information is real, and what is not, is becoming increasingly more difficult and yet it is vital.
Being able to discern what information is real, and what is not, is becoming increasingly more difficult and yet it is vital.
There has been, and continues to be, a great deal of misinformation around the topic of food allergy. This is in part due to the fact that as there has been a rapid increase in food allergy in the past couple of decades and what we know and understand about it is evolving. Studies indicate many gaps in education even within the medical community. As a result, early in my personal journey, I decided that I really needed to read the research myself in order to be able to best serve my family and others.
Which leads me to my tip for you: Become an Information Ninja
Take ownership of the facts so that you won’t need to rely on others’ interpretations.
Move beyond the headlines and dig a little further. Check for links, citations and references in whatever you are reading that can point you to the primary source of the information. If there are no links, citations or references, that is red flag that perhaps the information is not based on fact. If you are reading a primary source, check to see that it is trusted and reliable. Below are some important questions to consider about the source you are reading.
- Is it a well-established non-profit with a reputable medical advisory board?
- Is it a well-known and well-regarded medical journal?
- Is it a person with experience and education in the field they are discussing?
Consider these questions, read the primary source yourself and decide what you think. Then you will know you are equipped with the facts rather than opinion or false information.
The same is true for comments on social media. When someone is offering advice on a topic, be sure to know what their actual experience and expertise is on the topic you are discussing before following the advice. Below, are more tips that my fellow food allergy moms would like share with you. What tips would you share?
“Food allergy support; this is a vast, never-ending place where people from all over the world meet. This is a family that you never knew existed and that you didn’t think would ever be a part of your life.” read more here Tracy Bush Nutrimom- Food Allergy Liason AllergyPhoods
“Remember that everything is going to be okay, really. I know, food allergies are tough, super hard. You wonder how you’re going to get through it. But you will and so will your child.” Read more here Allergy Superheroes
“Sometimes food allergy related stress builds up and the best response is to pamper yourself! Allow me to be your allergy mom BFF and tell you why you should pamper yourself” read more here Sharon Wong Nut Free Wok
” Being gluten free or avoiding allergens doesn’t mean you can’t have a social life. It just means you have to plan more. Don’t let allergies keep you home. Be your own advocate and plan ahead. Take your health seriously and other will too ” read more here Amanda Kanashiro My Gluten Free Miami
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Client TestimonialIwas very impressed with all the information we heard at Sunday’s conference. Thank you for all that you do for this cause. I found the information very helpful. I look forward to using the book with my staff.
- Director of a Child Care program, attended a presentation by Gina