The hidden side of clinical trials

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Evidence matters to the public

Join us on 1st November at Parliament to make the case

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Plant Science Panel

Insecticides, biofuels, GMOs …

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'The Ugly Truth'

by Tracey Brown, director of Sense About Science

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Spoof Diets Coverage

Comments and coverage on VoYS Spoof Diets and following diet fads:


Daily Mail, Sugar-free diet alert: Yes, sugar is bad for you... but cutting it out totally could kill you, experts warn

The Guardian, Take the dodgy diet test

BBC Radio Wales, at 1:39:46, 'Diets on the internet: you might as well make them up'

Xposé  Entertainment (TV3 Ireland), Diets under investigation

MSN New ZealandCutting out sugar is impossible

Yorkshire Evening PostLet’s just say it: you golden people, you make me sick 

New Zealand Herald, Cutting sugar completely could kill you


Dr Anusha Seneviratne's blog, Weighing up Dodgy Diets

Theresia Mina's blog, Spoof diet: Not so easy to spot!

Spoof Diets guest blog by Leah Fitzsimmons

Sense About Science guest blog by Grace Gottlieb, Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence

Alex Buchan's blog, Fad diets – #AskForEvidence


Read a collection of tweets and coverage in this Storify



Leah Fitzsimmons, Biochemist and VoYS member: “Never mind about being tempted by that slice of cake – don’t be tempted by fad diets. When you see extraordinary claims, always ask for evidence.”

Jon Poole, Chief Executive, Institute of Food Science and Technology: “Personal diets and nutritional health more broadly, are very complex areas. Many people latch on to particular diets through just word of mouth or from articles in the popular press. Unfortunately the impact of some of these diets can be, at best, ineffective and, at worst very unhealthy. For this reason, it's important to have sound food and nutritional science underpinning any diet choice. It is also important that this is soundly but simply communicated.”

Catherine Collins, British Dietetic Association: “Let’s be realistic about fad diets – they don't work. They don't accelerate weight loss because they're not sustainable long term. If you plan to lose weight you need to recognise you're committing to a marathon, not a sprint. They don't improve your health, nor act as a talisman to protect you against cancer, Alzheimer’s, or whatever health risk is the media focus du jour. Fad diet promoters never let sound nutrition get in the way of persuasive marketing to the public, but rely on the publics' lack of knowledge on diet and health to promote their dietary myths and generate financial profit.”

Dr Ellie Cannon, GP and author: “New diets are being made up at an alarming rate. If you are concerned about your weight, look for evidence based advice.”

Susan Ringwood FAED, Chief Executive, Beat: “Diets don't work - If they did, you'd only do it once.”

Victoria Murphy, VoYS Co-ordinator: “Hundreds of researchers in the VoYS network are involved in tackling public misinformation about science and health. They make great efforts alongside their research work, and have had a lot of fun tackling dodgy diets. They’ve shown just how hard it can be to sort the beneficial from the bogus – unless you ask for evidence.” 

The VoYS diet project was brought to you by Agnieszka Piotrowska, Alison Clark, Anusha Seneviratne, Charlotte Dunbar, Chris Creese, Claire Marriott, Daisy Hessenberger, Elizabeth Glennon, Erika Nitsch, Fergus Guppy, Grace Gottlieb, Helen Coulshed, Kate Waller, Kristian Le Vay, Leah Fitzsimmons, Lizzie Tilley, Lucy Hagger, Madeline Burke, Rob Hagan, Tanya Hart and the Sense About Science team.

VoYS pinboard

  • Top tip 1: Ask for Evidence. If you’re being sold a product or asked to believe a claim then you deserve to know whether it’s based on evidence – or imagination.

  • Top tip 2: Detox. It’s a marketing myth – our body does it without pricey potions and detox diets.

  • Top tip 3: Superfood. There is no such thing, just foods that are high in some nutrients.

  • Top tip 4: Cleansing. You shouldn’t be trying to cleanse anything other than your skin or hair.

  • Top tip 5: If it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.

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