Social media influencers are going to change the world. Here’s why.

I had the honor of speaking at ShiftCon, an expo of the top health and wellness influencers.  These aren’t your everyday bloggers. They truly are the cream of the crop who have lofty goals for themselves. ShiftCon values transparency, good health and eco-friendly practices so I felt at home among this group. What really impressed me about ShiftCon bloggers was their passion for straight, honest, fact-based nutrition information. They desperately wanted to know how to spot the myths and speak the truth to their community. This gave me hope that someday, we won’t be battling all the hype about what to eat and what to avoid. The truth will be as close as our favorite podcast or social media feed.

My presentation, Fact Checking the Fact Checkers: Myths and Truths in Health Advice, was just prior to the conference’s keynote. This gave me the unique opportunity to bash a few myths while warming up this already highly engaged crowd. Watch my presentation here.

Among other things, I explained that much of the nutrition advice shared decades ago was inaccurate and downright dangerous to our health, such as how the low-fat craze led to a devastating rise in obesity. I talked about the demonization of saturated fats, despite fact-based clinical studies documenting that its consumption does not increase heart disease risk. This misinformation grows and gets rooted in society making it hard to know what’s really true.

In fact, a new study coming out of Malaysia reaffirmed that fat is not the problem in our diet. It’s a high amount of carbohydrates. When you accurately assess cardiovascular risk using modern measures, you get a very different story about which dietary patterns influence cardiovascular risk. Bottom line: We’ve been targeting the wrong macronutrient. Fat isn’t — and never was — the dietary enemy. 

I also had the opportunity to personally connect with many bloggers while hosting a booth sponsored by ChecktheFactsReportTheNews.org. This is what really stirred my hope for the future and why I think these passionate influencers can make a difference in our society. These people are leaders, not followers. And they’re well educated on the issues plaguing us. I conducted a survey at the event which revealed this, as well as some thought-provoking issues. Read more about in my next blog: Want to know the next big thing? Look to these influencer survey results.

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