Comparison of Media Article and a Research Study

Human health is an intricate matter that attracts the attention of a plethora of players, both in the local and international boundaries.  The foods that we eat are sometimes described to have negative repercussions on the general health of the individual, thus impeding the normal functioning of the body. However, the way the message is presented in the media raises concern as they tend to exaggerate the outcomes of consuming such foods. It is, therefore, important, to give a thorough analysis of any information concerning diet before forming the final judgment. Misinformation has an impact of scaring people or luring them to adopt a certain lifestyle, which in turn affects them negatively. A healthy diet is considered as the one which provides the energy, and makes the body to remain in a desirable weight, that is not prone to lifestyle diseases. According to Smolin et al.(2015), he notes that human beings should be in a position to balance the foods they eat, by incorporating diets rich in carbohydrates, water, essential vitamins and minerals, proteins and fats.. To ensure adequacy, foods should be nutrient dense. This translates to the definition of nutrient density that is understood as measure of nutrients a food contains in comparison to the energy content (Smolin et al., 2015). Choosing to consume foods less in nutrient density i.e. soft drinks, snacks, baked goods among others, reduce the chances of meeting the nutrient requirement in the body. Understanding this principle would enable someone to stay healthy for long.

The main point that is passed through the media article is that potatoes are not bad for health. The argument that is placed across affirms that this type of diet is helpful in cutting weight as opposed to the universally known truth that the carbohydrates contained in potatoes contribute to amassing of weight. The research leaves us with some questions, on how this is practically possible.  According to Murakami et al.(2014) Starch is a bight contributor to the cases of overweight all over the world. In his study; he found out that fried potatoes contained high-density fats that get deposited from the inside of the skin and vital organs of the body hence contributing to gain of weight. The current study leaves us with questions, on how the same starch could be classified as helpful for human consumption.

To ascertain the perception of the potatoes dietary for weight reduction, Randolph et al. (2014) embarked on a study, with the main purpose of establishing the connection between consumption of this diet, to the reduction of body mass. The study was driven by the motive of trying to prove, the popularized notion that fried potatoes are bad for human consumption. It is this drive that compelled a group of researchers, to consult various academic journals and conduct real experiments with individuals, to affirm the mass thinking concerning the issue under investigation. The body weight is believed to be measured by the number of calories that are ingested at a particular time versus the energy expended. The proponents of the energy-rich foods such as carbohydrates and proteins argue that the same foods could be used to manage the weight of an individual. The assertion leads the author, to form a hypothesis which can be stated as: it is not known, whether foods rich in energy (carbohydrates) such as potatoes have detrimental effects on the human body. Such foods have been since on, labeled as harmful. The extent of their negative effects is not well identified, and it is not clear whether similar cases are witnessed in the present times.

To test the hypothesis, Randolph et al. (2014) designed an experimental study that involved actual tests, to determine the truthfulness of the information stated in the previous paragraph. Ninety overweight men and women were involved in this study, and they were controlled to conform to the requirements of the researcher. The selection criterion was random, which ameliorated the chances of bias. The method of experimenting was adopted in a manner that adhered to the ethics of research, as their consent was sought before the actual process began. After the sampling of the appropriate population, they were divided into three groups. The first set of the group was encouraged to reduce their energy intake per day by 500kca/day and consume products that were predominantly composed of high or low glycemic index. The remaining group received no instructions concerning diet, and all groups were informed to consume 5-7 servings of potatoes per week. The changes in weight, body composition, glucose tolerance were determined at baseline and the end of the two weeks.

The result of this study confirmed that there was no significant change in body weight and composition among the groups. However, there was a modest change in weight among all the participants, for the period of the experiment. It was found that consumption of energy-rich diet had a minute significance to the changes in the human body, which ideally is not enough to make an affirmation that such foods can be used for massive body weight loss. The results of this study reiterated the outcomes of other authors, who noted that a reduction in intake of energy-rich food contributes to loss of body weight. Also, potato intake did not cause weight gain, emphasizing on the complex nature of changing dietary. The strength of this study is that it has been able to show that high intake of potatoes has no significant change in the body. However, the limitation of this study is that it has involved the consumption of other foods; hence the final results are as a result of the amalgamation of many foods.

The article was sourced from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, which is the baseline from which the media article was referenced. This article employs mixed research methodology, hence carries both sides of qualitative and quantitative aspect. It is an original research article because the experimental trials are done by the author, rather than reporting the findings of other researchers. The type of research employed in this case is empirical/ experimental research. It relies on experience or observation alone, often without due regard for system and theory. It is data-based research, coming up with conclusions, which are capable of being verified, by observation or experiment. In this kind of research, it is paramount to get the information first hand and go ahead to test their validity. The research studies cause and effect hence important in ascertaining the facts about a certain phenomenon. In line, it has several characteristics such as the variable is controlled. Basing on the article that was chosen in this work, the researcher separated the participants into three groups and performed specific treatments that aimed to suit the research objectives. Also, this kind of research is used to proof issues; hence the outcomes are either positive or negative. Finally, small samples are used to test the hypothesis.  This study used ninety participants, which is a small number considering the magnitude of the topic which was under investigation.

The message put forward by the media is ideally not very correct compared to the outcome of the study of the journal article. The media proposes that active consumption of potatoes significantly reduces the weight gain, which sheds more questions than answers regarding this issue. The writer of the blog article postulates that people can resort to taking the starchy potatoes, as a way of managing their weight. This is an overstatement, as a lot of finite information lacks in this publication. Carefully looking through the research article, the author investigates the possibility of high energy foods, such as potatoes in reducing the weight. In the study, the participants were subjected to taking of high energy diet, i.e. potatoes and other foods. Therefore, the results obtained in this case were not only based on potatoes but was a compilation of foods rich in carbohydrates.

It is wrong for the media article to single out only potatoes, and write about its effectiveness in managing weight. The research affirms that the intake of potatoes does not have a significant impact on the composition of the body. I think the media understood the findings in a wrong way and presented the information in a manner that would appease the readers while ignoring the finite truth.

The media article was written based on one section of the finding, and published in a manner to serve the interest of the writer. Other things that could have been included is the future works that should be done on this study. In the conclusion section of the research article, the author indicates that the finding regarding the effectiveness of the potatoes in reducing weight was not absolute.  He stated the importance of conducting further research, to confirm the possibility of potatoes in reducing weight since the results that he obtained were based on several energy giving foods. This section lacks in the media article and attracts a lot of attention to anyone who lands on this writing. Also, the article should have included the number of participants who were engaged in this study, and the actual method that was used to achieve the results. Lack of this section gives leeway to manipulating what the actual research states.

The assignment sheds insight on what the research process entails. One striking element that can be identified from the comparison of the media article and the research article is that ethical behavior in research work is essential. For example, the media article composes a story, which contravenes the actual message of the author. The effect of such behavior contributes to misleading the population and under-representing the ideas of the original author. This way, it is paramount, to be honest, and uphold integrity when referencing any piece of publication.

References

Murakami, K., Sasaki, S., & Uenishi, K. (2014). Dietary glycemic index, but not glycemic load, is positively associated with serum homocysteine concentration in free-living young Japanese women. Nutrition Research34(1), 25-30.

Randolph, J. M., Edirisinghe, I., Masoni, A. M., Kappagoda, T., & Burton-Freeman, B. (2014). Potatoes, Glycemic Index, and Weight Loss in Free-Living Individuals: Practical Implications. Journal of the American College of Nutrition33(5), 375-384.

Smolin, L. A., Grosvenor, M. B., & Gurfinkel, D. (2015). Nutrition: Science and Applications, 2nd Canadian Edition. John Wiley & Sons.

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