Objective: Independently develop research and investigative skills related to the fields of food and

nutrition. Students will explore scientific resources and develop skills to appropriately articulate and

critically analyze scientific data.

Learning Objectives

After completing this writing requirement, you should be able to

• Research information to test the validity of claims on food products

• Evaluate the evidence supporting a health claim

• Understand what constitutes and solid evaluation of such a claim

Directions:

1. Find a food product that has an ingredient list and health claims on the package or in the

advertisement.

2. Bust the myth.

• To research the validity of the product’s claims, address the following questions:

➢Is the health claim meaningful? Or is the claim so vague that it is true of all food? E.g.

did you know that FDA rules allow all food items to claim that they “support the immune

system”?

➢Could the ingredients listed on the product possibly cause the claimed health benefits?

➢Does the claim imply that there are scientific studies or data to back it up? If so, do such

scientific data exist and do they indeed back up the claim?

➢What additional information could you find that supports or contradicts the claim? Are

these primary sources (original reports by the scientist) or secondary sources (reports

about the science written by someone who did not do the research)?

➢Can you find multiple sources for the core facts of the arguments that you found pro or

contra on the claim? Or can all arguments be traced back to one source?

➢Would you buy the product based on its claims? Why or why not?

Once you have selected your topic, you will need to begin your background research using books,

journals, reputable magazine articles, etc. You must make use of a minimum of 5 different sources, at

least 2 of which must be peer reviewed articles.

Deliverables: Successful completion of this assignment includes the submission of the

following materials to the instructor.

1) A 1000 word essay (only the body text in your essay counts towards your word count)

2) A reference page including the format listed below including your 5 sources

3) Copies of the reference pages you used for your research (direct links will suffice)

4) Submission of the paper via turnitin.com link for plagiarism detection

Paper Specifics: Paper must be 1000 words in length (double spaced). Paper must make use of 5 peer

reviewed references. Paper should include a page with appropriate references listed. Paper should be

typed on 8.5×11 standard paper with 1-inch margins all around (please double space it… small font

crammed together is so very hard to read). Font should be 12pts and should use Calibri or similar font.

You should ensure that your paper does significant analysis in the form of scientific depth of your

chosen topic. The paper should be arranged in the following sections: 1) Introduction, 2) Body of Paper,

3) Conclusion (you are welcome to use additional sub-sections as needed for organization). Paper

should be written in your own words! Avoid direct quotes whenever possible, try to paraphrase the

materials.

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