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Analysis in Nutrition Research, Principles of Statistical Methodology and Interpretation of the Results

      Today, more than ever, dietitians and nutritionists are encouraged to make evidence-based decisions and apply nutrition practice guidelines in their practice.
      • Lennon SL
      • DellaValle DM
      • Rodder SG
      • et al.
      2015 Evidence analysis library evidence-based nutrition practice guideline for the management of hypertension in adults.
      • Thompson KL
      • Elliott L
      • Fuchs-Tarlovsky V
      • Levin RM
      • Voss AC
      • Piemonte T
      Oncology evidence-based nutrition practice guideline for adults.
      • Duarte-Gardea MO
      • Gonzales-Pacheco DM
      • Reader DM
      • et al.
      Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics gestational diabetes evidence-based nutrition practice guideline.
      • Kuehneman T
      • Gregory M
      • de Waal D
      • et al.
      Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics evidence-based practice guideline for the management of heart failure in adults.
      • Sapienza C
      • Diet Issa JP.
      Nutrition, and Cancer Epigenetics.
      • Papoutsakis C
      • Moloney L
      • Sinley RC
      • Acosta A
      • Handu D
      • Steiber AL
      Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics methodology for developing evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines.
      • Bauer J.
      Evidence-based practice in nutrition and dietetics: translating evidence into practice.
      • Katz DL
      • Karlsen MC
      • Chung M
      • et al.
      Hierarchies of evidence applied to lifestyle medicine (HEALM): introduction of a strength-of-evidence approach based on a methodological systematic review.
      However, doing this requires a clear understanding of the methodologies used to conduct research and a firm grasp of the types of statistical tests used to determine statistical significance. Unfortunately, one of the challenges for health care professionals who want to implement an evidence-based, scientific approach is a lack of knowledge of the quantitative and qualitative methodologies used in research.
      • Bauer J.
      Evidence-based practice in nutrition and dietetics: translating evidence into practice.
      Based on my experience as a graduate program director and teaching research methods at the graduate level for the past 10 years, I can attest to the fact that most students fear taking statistics and diving into the scientific literature beyond the abstract more than any other component of their graduate program. In essence, as the author Dan Brown
      • Brown D.
      The Lost Symbol.
      stated in The Lost Symbol, “We all fear what we do not understand.”
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      REFERENCES

        • Lennon SL
        • DellaValle DM
        • Rodder SG
        • et al.
        2015 Evidence analysis library evidence-based nutrition practice guideline for the management of hypertension in adults.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017; 117: 1445-1458.e17
        • Thompson KL
        • Elliott L
        • Fuchs-Tarlovsky V
        • Levin RM
        • Voss AC
        • Piemonte T
        Oncology evidence-based nutrition practice guideline for adults.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017; 117: 297-310.e47
        • Duarte-Gardea MO
        • Gonzales-Pacheco DM
        • Reader DM
        • et al.
        Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics gestational diabetes evidence-based nutrition practice guideline.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018; 118: 1719-1742
        • Kuehneman T
        • Gregory M
        • de Waal D
        • et al.
        Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics evidence-based practice guideline for the management of heart failure in adults.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018; 118: 2331-2345
        • Sapienza C
        • Diet Issa JP.
        Nutrition, and Cancer Epigenetics.
        Annu Rev Nutr. 2016; 36: 665-681
        • Papoutsakis C
        • Moloney L
        • Sinley RC
        • Acosta A
        • Handu D
        • Steiber AL
        Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics methodology for developing evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017; 117: 794-804
        • Bauer J.
        Evidence-based practice in nutrition and dietetics: translating evidence into practice.
        Nutr Diet. 2019; 76: 123-125
        • Katz DL
        • Karlsen MC
        • Chung M
        • et al.
        Hierarchies of evidence applied to lifestyle medicine (HEALM): introduction of a strength-of-evidence approach based on a methodological systematic review.
        BMC Med Res Methodol. 2019; 19: 178
        • Brown D.
        The Lost Symbol.
        Doubleday Publishing Company, New York, NY2009