Should Amateurs Blog About Nutrition?

Recently another blogger, Manav Gaba, criticized my site, saying it was not credible in comparison to a site by professional dieticians in Canada. (that looks like an excellent site, by the way). Some of his criticism I found a bit unjust, for example he stated my posts on nutrition were not as well-referenced as theirs. I actually take great pains to give references to back up anything I say. The second criticism was that I did not give my name in my “about” page. My name is clearly visible on the book jacket there. But in response I have modified my about page to state my name up front. Nevertheless, Manav has a valid point that information from professionals, on any topic, is superior to information from amateurs.

If you want to learn about nutrition, by all means go to a site by professionals like the dieticians of Canada site. My personal favorites are Dr. Christine Rosenbloom’s site, and Dr. Michael Greger’s site. Dr. Rosenbloom has a Ph.D in nutrition and many years experience teaching it, and is coauthor of the excellent book Food And Fitness After 50. Dr. Greger is an M.D. with extensive knowledge of nutrition and its effects on health. He and his staff at his nonprofit read thousand of papers in this field every year.

In contrast, I am a layman in the field of nutrition, though I have read extensively on this topic as a hobby and out of concern for my own healthy aging. But I readily admit to being an amateur. As I discussed in a previous post, I was initially reluctant to say anything more about nutrition other than that most experts seem to agree we should not eat junk and we should eat more fruits and veggies. As an engineer, I sometimes wince at the things non-engineers say about engineering matters. This comes up a lot in cycling forums. I am concerned that I may be equally annoying to dieticians and nutritionists when I talk about their field. I apologize to them if this has ever been the case. I will continue to discuss my amateur’s opinion on these matters if I come across an interesting topic, but it is only that, my non-professional opinion, preferably backed by evidence.

Manav’s site looks like it will be interesting and useful. He is a chef with concerns about cooking for good health. We need more chefs coming up with recipes to make healthy food taste good.

Should Amateurs Blog About Nutrition? published first on

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