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The publishers ought to take greater responsibility for fact-checking

The best-selling book ”the Kimchi and kombucha – The new science of how the intestinal bacteria strengthen your brain” gets harsh criticism by leading Swedish e

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The publishers ought to take greater responsibility for fact-checking

The best-selling book ”the Kimchi and kombucha – The new science of how the intestinal bacteria strengthen your brain” gets harsh criticism by leading Swedish experts in a review in the pod ”Insane” to exaggerate the state of knowledge and misinterpret the studies on the link between gut flora and mental illness.

This is not an isolated example of an exaggerated health book, says Maria Ahlsén and Jessica Norrbom, who both are active at Karolinska institutet. They recently wrote a debate article in DN Debate, in which they pointed out that many popular hälsoböcker contains serious errors, and called for an independent audit of the books claiming to be factual. The proposal has received both positive and negative feedback.

" We are thinking that this would be helpful for both readers, authors and publishers. But we want to be clear that we are not advocating any censorship. You would still be able to write what you want, but then give it out as a inspirationsbok. If there is to be a non-fiction book so it would be preferable if it also is examined. If you want to give out a book which claims to be based on science and facts, then should you be anxious that it should be as accurate as possible, " says Jessica Norrbom, who is a doctor of medicine and a researcher at the Karolinska institute.

a variety of popular science books each year in Sweden. Maria Ahlsén and Jessica Norrbom mean that many of them so clearly is correct, but that it is precisely in the fields of nutrition and health that many books are exaggerated.

– most people want to make any health-related change. The diet is a pretty easy way to affect their health, exercise is often perceived as much harder. If you read in a book that you just need to eat more yogurt or turmeric, it would of course be wonderful. But the problem is that there may be serious consequences if the reader follows the advice that is perceived to be evidence-based but for which there is missing evidence, for in the day, " says Maria Ahlsén, who is a doctor of medicine and project coordinator at Karolinska institutet.

In Sweden, it is the author himself who is responsible for his book, not the publisher or the publisher. Maria Ahlsén and Jessica Norrbom think that publishers should take more responsibility for the books they give out.

Some publishers faktagranskar certainly their books, but it is not always the book is reviewed by a scientist or another expert in the research area the book is about. It also happens that only small parts of the book to be reviewed.

– Publishers often say that they want to spread knowledge about research and they think that the readers, by yourself, can judge the content. But it is not true, we meet lots of people become worried when they have read something in a health book. Readers trust books that are written by people with doktorstitlar or under faktasektionen in the bookstore, " says Jessica Norrbom.

is that they simplify too much, draws too far-reaching conclusions from animal studies, is unclear with the evidence or that the conclusions are controversial, they explain. Many books criticize the authorities ' advice and presents, instead, a special diet should be better.

Authorities dietary changes slowly because it takes time to analyze what the impact might be to advise or recommend from the increased or decreased intake of a food. They also report how strong the evidence there is for the recommendation.

– Hundreds of experts has twisted, turned and examined the research. The WHO has also come to the same recommendations as in our nordic dietary recommendations. It might seem difficult to know whom to rely on when a book claims something that goes contrary to what the Nfa says. But the Nfa does not try to deceive us and earn nothing on the advice. They have no online shop where you sell probiotics, dietary supplements, or any dietbok, " says Maria Ahlsén.

Read more: Experts saw a popular health book on bacteria

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