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When did Tom Brady, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kylie Jenner become our doctors? | BU today

Here is just some of the absurd health information on social media that surprises veteran nutritionist Joan Salge Blake: claims by actress Gwyneth Paltrow that vaginal steaming is good for you and that braces can cause cancer. Drink enough water and you do not need sunscreen, says Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Grateful posts on social media from Instagram Queen Kylie Jenner push her vitamins and detox crazes, such as FitTea, for millions of followers

It is the nightmare of a registered nutritionist.

"Do you really want to get your health and wellness information from you?" Dr. Kardashian & # 39;? & # 39; " asks Salge Blake to roll her eyes." You really need to get your information from someone who knows what they're talking about. "

That's why Salge Blake (Sargent College & # 39; 84, Wheelock College & # 39; 16), at Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences clinical associate professor of nutrition for 24 years, created her new health and wellness podcast Spot On! In fact, she says , inspired her students the podcast, for more than 200 students have enrolled for their general feeding course (which has a waiting list), saying that they have more than ever questions about subjects that are not covered in the course book. (Salge Blake is the author of the popular textbook Nutrition & You used in the United States and beyond.)

Riffing about health and wellness stories in headlines and social media feeds of students, Salge Blake & # 39; s podcas t offers sound, scientifically based health information that allows listeners to separate facts from the fiction that bombards them online every day.

Spot On! examines a new topic every week: How do you solve a room-smoking dispute? Is meditation worth the time? Are carbs really the bad guy on your plate? Salge Blake not only knows what she is talking about, but also advises in a way that is both nurturing and no-nonsense.

"I am 100%, if not 110%, Italian," she says in her unmistakable New Jersey accent. "You want pasta, you eat pasta, only a whole pound of it."

Salge Blake, who has a master's degree in nutrition from Sargent is recording episodes in a podcast studio of the College of Communication. Every 30-minute edition starts with an audio montage in which students discuss a problem or problem before introducing an expert guest.

For a recent episode on the low-to-carbohydrate trend known as the keto diet, Salge Blake interviewed cookbook author and nutritional nutritionist Toby Amidor .

Students learn that although it was touted by celebrities, the keto diet was created as a medical treatment for epileptic children. Amidor is not a fan. The diet suggests only 100 to 200 calories a day of carbohydrates as a way to achieve ketosis, the metabolic state in which the body burns its own fat reserves.

The problem with that? For anyone who needs to be mentally alert, as is the case with the & k; Keto-flu & # 39 ;, an unpleasant combination of headache, nausea and brain fog that can last up to a week.

"You Be careful to get the glucose you need," says Amidor. Keto "is not sustainable, it's not fun, it's not good, I'm telling you this as a dietitian."

"This is not the diet of choice for the brain," adds Salge Blake.

"Science-sploitation"

In another episode, Salge Blake interviews Tim Caulfield, author of the book Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything? How to Sell Sell Us Elixirs or Health, Beauty & Happiness .

Caulfield, a professor at the University of Alberta and a professor of public health, discusses & # 39; beauty bias & # 39 ;, a proven phenomenon that is attractive people, more successful in most areas of life, and something that celebrities are increasingly redeem. He tells how his personal sports hero, Tom Brady, now sells fake sports recovery strains and muscle lotion, which is said to improve muscle strength. It is vaguely scientific sounding, says Caulfield, and it is completely unproven.

"I call it science-sploitation", says Caulfield. "He is a great example of a celebrity who imposes nonsense."

Salge Blake says she plans to produce 10 podcast episodes this spring, and 10 more in the fall. To spread the word, she has promoted the podcast on Facebook, where she also gives background information to students and she suggests reading further and looking at interesting topics.

Students seem to swallow it up already. Only four weeks later, the podcast already has more than 1,000 followers on iTunes.

College of Communication public relations chief Danielle Lirette, who Spot On! produces, says it is not that young people do not know or Understand that many messages get the approval of celebrities, but an endless stream of them can have an exhausting effect. A fan of the Caulfield podcast, she says she likes to know how misleading spreads can be spread. "I feel much more aware," she says.

Eliza Shaw, a junior College of Communication, says the podcast is "a great resource". She follows the Kardashians on Instagram, she says, although not their health and well-being advice. The Spot On! podcast reminded her of the effect of all promotions – and all photoshopped images of perfection – on her brain.

"It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish what is real and where is it going to make money" on Instagram, she says. Salge Blake "knows what she's talking about."

And part of the attraction is Salge Blake himself, says vegan Natalie Kulick, a second-year communication lecturer. Kulick says she is grateful for the way in which Salle Blake uses her considerable knowledge and experience to help students, adding that it was useful to get to know a nutritionist on campus for free in one of the podcasts.

"You can trust her opinion," Kulick says. "It's not a decent ax – she's going to investigate a problem and demystify it."

Salge Blake wants to encourage students to think critically. And she reminds them that joyless food, or meals without friends or food that reminds them of their home or family, deprive them of the pleasure of not replacing Keto Diet Cookie.

Her best advice to students?

"Eat!" Cries Salge Blake. "Eat before you're hungry and eat everything that moves."

Megan Woolhouse can be reached on megwj@bu.edu .

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