Have you ever noticed that everyone thinks they know food just because they eat? On Instagram @AndreaHardyRD, I talk all about the Dunning-Kruger effect and how it relates to nuances in nutrition information.

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The more I learn – the less I know 👩🏼‍🔬⁠⠀
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(#scicommunity Thursdays)⁠⠀
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People that think they know the most, often know the least. The same lack of self awareness that drives this illusory superiority also drives their inability to recognize their own incompetence.⁠⠀
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The word incompetence sounds harsh. But is it? ⁠⠀
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Let’s look at it in the world of ‘everyone teaches nutrition online’ right now.⁠⠀
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I always tell my interns, you only know what you know. It’s not a bad thing – but you need to be aware of your ‘blind spots’, and really dig in and get curious about EVERYTHING and build the skill of self awareness.⁠⠀
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These ‘blind spots’ are what put patients at risk. Which is why being open to learning, and recognizing your scope is SO important.⁠⠀
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🤔You didn’t know prescribing low sodium diet for someone on lithium was dangerous? You probably shouldn’t be providing nutrition advice to someone who has co-morbidities or is on medications. ⁠⠀
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🩸So you made a plant-based meal plan for a person post cardiac transplant? You should probably know they often require a potassium restriction to avoid hyperkalemia, which can result in cardiac arrhythmia and death.⁠⠀
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🍎Nutrition is NOT benign. Yet – everyone eats so everyone thinks they know food! This is the perfect example of the Dunning Kruger effect. ⁠⠀
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So how do we avoid this? ⁠⠀
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1) Recognize your scope. ⁠⠀
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There is a reason why the title ‘dietitian’ is a protected one. Providing nutrition advice is NOT benign. You only think it is, because you don’t know what you don’t know. ⁠⠀
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2) Be open to changing your mind.⁠⠀
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When’s the last time you changed your mind? Recognized the limitations of your knowledge and experience? Thoughtfully listened to scientific feedback, and filtered your current opinion through the new lens? ⁠⠀
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🚨Learning is a good thing.

🚨Having someone critically review your work is a GOOD thing.

🚨Knowing your limitations is a GOOD THING.⁠