Listen to this and cut through the social media noise

If you’ve spent more than 2 minutes on any social media app, you’ve probably scrolled through a lot of health and nutrition “information”.

You may have also noticed that this “information” can be quite confusing and contradictory. That’s because a lot of it is complete garbage. But how do you sort the good stuff from the garbage?

Enter: Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish. Her CRABS framework will show you how to critically assess a confusing piece of information and help you figure out what’s worth listening to, and what’s not.


Jono: Welcome back to the Bite Me Nutrition podcast everyone. Today I have Dr. Jess Stokes-Parrish and I'm very, very excited to talk to her. I say that about every guest. I say  just because I'm very, very excited to talk to all of them. I still can't believe I'm talking to these people. But anyway, it's very exciting, especially because the area of research that she's been involved in, or not just involved in, I think, has done completely, is very, very near and dear to my heart. And I think to anyone who's followed her or myself would understand why that is. And so we'll get into that, but before we do, Dr. Jess, thanks for coming on. Please tell me who you are, what do you do, and why do you do it?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Hey, Jono, thanks so much for having me. I'm an intensive care nurse by training and I still practice as an intensive care nurse and I'm an academic who focuses, I focus a lot of my time on education, teaching health profession students and I research educational design and science communication. Why do I do it? Because I think education should be accessible to everyone and I think education and science be fun and I think everyone should get a chance at it. So that's me.

Jono: love that. And that does come through really strongly, I think, with this research in that the level of scientific literacy required to use this tool that we're going to go through is actually pretty low, right? And I don't mean that patronizingly, like my mechanical literacy is zero. My, you know, there's lots of areas that we're all weak at. But I think to be able to use this tool to apply it to the various medias, and to not need to have any kind of formal qualifications, or even to do a course to do it, really exciting. So I'm gonna stop

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: referring to this random thing.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: What is it? What's it called? Give us the give us the full story.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, cool. So I created a framework called crabs. So just get that in your head now crabs like the actual crab that you go and fish for.

Jono: Love it.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: It's a framework to kind of help you thinking and to create a systematic process for looking at evidence or information that you're reading. And every good educator loves to find a mnemonic, which is some sort of like mental model to help you. remember something. And there's heaps of science behind mnemonics and the psychology behind it and whatever. And so I was really pleased when I could work out something that actually made a word.

Jono: It's a great one.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, and despite the fact that everyone likes to refer to sexually transmitted illnesses, when they think about crabs, it'll stick in your mind now.

Jono: We'll transmit this to everyone that we can, right?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: So crabs, was something that I came up with. I was spending a lot of time on social media and as you alluded to, Jono, I have a philosophy that everyone brings something to the table. Everyone has knowledge. Everyone deserves access to knowledge in whatever form that that is. And so I was like, there's a lot of scientists online saying just trust the science. And I was like, no, you shouldn't trust the science because that then puts science in a position of, you know, tower in a position where they can't be challenged and science should be challenged. In fact, it's designed to

Jono: Mm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: be challenged. So that was kind of what started this framework. And I was thinking, you know, people need a really quick, easy to grab tools that they can think about when they're reading content online.

Jono: Yeah, and you've crushed it. I love it. I mean, I've seen some mnemonics that are trying very hard to kind of, you know, gem a word or make a word. This is crabs is a word. Look, it's also a crustacean. Let's

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: It is,

Jono: keep it.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: it's tasty.

Jono: Come

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: on guys, wind out of the gutter, you know.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: It's nutritious.

Jono: Right, it's food. It's a, let's see, you got a shellfish. It doesn't matter. Look, it's, yeah, and you're so right. The access to it and the, the idea that science should be challenged, that is the scientific process, right? We

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Mm.

Jono: make, come up with a hypothesis and then we literally challenge it. But I do think you're right in that people saying just trust the science, it kind of, it takes the, I don't know what you say, not autonomy, but the agency for people, they just have to trust

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Mm-hmm.

Jono: these people without, you know, or go to uni for three plus years to be able to challenge it, which that's not really accessible.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: No.

Jono: So let's go through the crabs,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yep, sure.

Jono: take me through the letters, and this sort of framework to help us start to unpack that information

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: that we come across on social media.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah. So one of the big things that stood out to me was that most people when they're talking about content online have a conflict or at the very least they have a bias or an opinion they hold a worldview about something. And so the C in the craps is for conflict of interest and conflicts normally occur when somebody stands to benefit from sharing a certain message or mean that the information is incorrect, but it does influence how much weight you can put on it because there's a risk that the choices that have been made have been influenced by some other power, whether it's political, financial, or even what's become really apparent throughout the pandemic is the social status. So some people will hold a position or make a comment about something because be that figurehead. So that's kind of the first one is, you know, the information that you're reading, is there a conflict and is there a reason why they're sharing this particular message? The next one is references. And this is a really important one, because I think we tend to skip this one a little bit when it comes to reading content. And that's for a number of factors. We typically have a parasocial relationship with the person that we are engaging them because we've seen what food they're sharing or they've shared the beach that they go to. Like there's this kind of element

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: of you've built a relationship, right? And so references are really important because it will provide the validity or the evidence for the claim. And we need to know whether there is evidence for a claim or is it just that somebody's plucked an ID out of the air and there's no information that's behind it. The second part of that is that then you have to look quality of the reference. You can't just assume that a PubMed ID is credible, because I cannot tell you how many times when I've gone to look for that PubMed ID, it either doesn't exist or it is 30 years old and the science is outdated. So that's, I think, like, it's a minefield and it's just an opportunity, I think, to think critically about the references. And I know, Jono, that's something you're really big on is sharing the evidence behind your posts. And it's something that I'm seeing more and more, especially from health professionals and health professionals and scientists. If you're listening, you should be referencing your posts.

Jono: Yeah, look guys, it's more work, but

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: It is.

Jono: it's it's it's worth it, right?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: And then you've got it locked and loaded when someone comes along and says, ask your question,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah,

Jono: you can back that up.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: I think as individuals, we have to be willing to hold to a claim that we make.

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: If we have an opinion about something, is it simply an opinion, or is it something that's backed by evidence, and are you willing to put your stake in the ground about it? And if you're not, and you're just wanting to kind of have a hot take, then you have to think about whether it's the right thing. And a lot of that then comes back to the purpose of why you're sharing, social media.

Jono: Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: So the next

Jono: So,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: one

Jono: and what's A? Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: is author. So author is all about, well, who's the person that's shared the content? Who's published the blog? What is their background? Are they a new graduate health professional? Are they somebody that's self-taught? What's the story behind them? And what are the qualifications, their credentials? And then again, you do have to do the little background search of do those credentials exist. because I think unfortunately,

Jono: Mm-hmm

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: and this is like, this is part of the challenge, you don't actually need to spend a lot of time doing this, you just need to search this person's name and the so-called credentials that they have to see whether they are indeed verifiable credentials or is it something that they've made up.

Jono: Yes, or is it from an online institution that's not really

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: valid or registered?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, and I think, you know, there's that sense of education has become more accessible and there are more courses online, which is a positive, but it also means that many of these courses online aren't actually from, you know, majorly credible institutions. They are private, for profit organization and they're short duration that just skim the surface of topics, so something to think about. The B is

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: words. And this is a language clue, basically. So it's emotional or jargon, something that like is science washing. So they use words like evidence based, or they use trendy words, like whatever the trend is of the time. So whether it's low talks, or whether it's like, there's even some things that I think there's well meaning intent behind them, like plant based, that can become very into it, then it's not actually plant-based and it's just a piece of marketing. But this is a good language clue because if there's words that make you feel an emotion, if they make you feel really scared, if they make you feel really angry, then that's a sign that there's buzzwords or jargon in the post that's there to try and disrupt your logical thinking and it's appealing to your emotional thinking.

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: And then the last one is S for scope of practice. And this one really relates to the author and this is about, so somebody might actually have legitimate qualifications in something, but have they sidestepped to provide overreach in a field of, you know, whatever it is. Nutrition, I think this is particularly rife and you'll see it with people that are nurses or midwives that really have limited scope for talking about nutrition unless they've gone and gotten a university accredited nutrition degree, they'll often overstep outside of kind of generalized advice. Like I as a nurse can give you generalized commentary about nutrition relating to your heart health as long as I stick to general guidelines. But if I started

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: to give you advice about your child's eating habits when I don't have any pediatric qualifications and I have no nutrition qualifications, then I'm overreaching my scope of practice. And

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: we see it across, you know, across professions. So somebody who might have an engineering background will decide that they're gonna go get into health. And because I've got this authority halo of, well, I've got a post-grad degree in engineering. So therefore I am qualified to talk about nutrition or whatever.

Jono: Yeah. Everybody eats, right? So everybody

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Oh.

Jono: has an opinion about nutrition, I think. And I think that authority bias is such a huge part of that scope of practice, because you're getting, you mentioned nurses, I'll throw doctors under the bus as well, because there's doctors and chiropractors. I'd say probably the two, there's lots of doctors and chiropractors out there who are amazing and refer on and stay in their lane. Absolutely don't get me wrong. There's lots of terrible dieticians who give, what maybe, I don't know. There are dieticians who give bad advice as we're all right. So we're not here to besmirch any one profession. But there's definitely that I will I am knowledgeable in this space. So and they're intelligent. So

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yep.

Jono: I'm going to apply that lens to nutrition. And obviously I'm speaking from nutrition, because that's what I know. But the way that you approach nutritional science is very different to the way that you should approach biomedical science, you

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yep.

Jono: know, and epidemiology and all of those other things. So

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, look, and I think a lot of it sometimes is about humility. So being able to acknowledge that actually there is a limit to my knowledge. And that is

Jono: Mm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: okay. Um, and actually it's a good thing that there's a limit to my knowledge cause I cannot possibly know everything. And I'm not going to put that expectation on myself to know everything. Um, but it does reflect a certain worldview that if you take your training and perceive that to mean that you have authority on everything, or that because of those credentials, you can be protected from having any accountability. That's a problem.

Jono: Hmm. Yeah. And I, I, I agree with the humility. I think people almost respect you more when you say, oh, I don't know. Here's someone who, who does know, right?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yep.

Jono: You know, that, that kind of a, no one person can possibly know every realm of health science, even every

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Bye.

Jono: realm of nutrition, like one sector of health science. And

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: so it makes sense that you have to refer on, you know, I know nothing about pediatric dietetics. So I'm not going

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Dr.

Jono: to

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Kyla.

Jono: try. Exactly. Right. That's why I bother her all of the time. Right. So, and it's good. It's like, you it takes a village.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: So yeah. So I want to go back through the tool and just maybe pick apart a few pick apart. That sounds bad. It's a yeah, I've got some issues, Jess. No,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Tell me, I'm an academic, I can take it.

Jono: it couldn't be worse than the defense. Hey, no, I have no issues. I want to go through the letters and I guess give people some common examples of

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: things they might be able to spot with that. But I guess before we do that, is the purpose of the tool to. grade a piece of information or is it more just a frame of reference or a filter to run that information through?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, definitely the latter. It's definitely about being a filter just a really quick, like as I said, it's like a five minute stop check. Should I place a low value on this piece of information or should I seek out some more information? It's certainly not a grading of evidence tool. There are validated tools out there. And so I guess if you're a scientist or a health professional and you're thinking, well, I actually want to grade evidence, then you should be looking at Joanna Briggs Institute, the Cochrane system. and a whole range of other kind of things. This is just more that, like, I'm just gonna take five minutes and work out, is there anything that should set off alarm bells, or am I pretty good to go here?

Jono: Yeah, which is great because the Cochrane system is fantastic, but you're not just going to casually apply that to a social media post.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: No, that's right. That's right. And while I didn't design this framework for academic pieces, it certainly works for a quick first pass.

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: And certainly people have said that to me that they use it when they read their first reading of a paper to kind of go, is there anything here that's not in place? And I should think twice about it.

Jono: Yeah, absolutely. And I think one other thing I would say, because yes, it's five minutes of your time and your energy and your effort, but we're talking about people's health

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish:Mm.

 Jono: and mental and physical and social and financial health. I do feel like sometimes, often people are too quick to believe what they read online in relation to health information. So yes, the burden is on the person sharing the information. Absolutely, they shouldn't be sharing

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yes.

Jono: that in the first place, but then, consumer, we do still have that responsibility to consume intelligently and carefully. And that's why I love this. It's not too onerous. It is more onerous than just taking everything on board, but it provides such a good framework to assess that information. And so, see conflict of interest. What are some common conflict of interests? Have you noticed any like sneaky ones? What should we be looking out for there?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: I guess on social media, you're looking for things like is it a paid partnership or the sneakier things I think are things like network marketing. You know, if you are if you are selling a product and you're talking about the value of it or the benefits, then there's an inherent conflict there because you will make money from selling it.

Jono: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: The obvious. I think, you know, the obvious ones. people when it comes to science is was this work funded by a particular body and did they have any stake in what the opinion or the outcome was and so

Jono: Mm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: that kind of thing but yeah conflicts, political conflicts are really becoming a bigger issue I think people won't always disclose who their political affiliations are and you often see it come out if it's a particularly polarizing issue you know, a hot topic that creates, stirs up a lot of emotion. There's often some sort of political bias or influence that can be there as well. And that can be really tricky to find. So that takes a little bit of Googling to kind of find out who is this person, who are they affiliated with.

Jono: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Um, I think it's always that starts with why this thing is trying to kill you

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: or this thing that you haven't heard about is terrible. And then pivots too.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: I have the

Jono: My

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: solution.

Jono: course can help. My program can help. Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah,

Jono: My, my

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yeah.

Jono: supplement can help. Um, something my, my Facebook group can help. I like what you said as well as one I've never, I haven't considered quite so much is the just the social standing, the social influence.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: you know, like that is a conflict of interest, like just wanting to gain recognition

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: is a conflict.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah. And so the question you can ask there is, would this person hold this position if they didn't make this statement? So,

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: so would they be in this position of authority that everyone's flocking to them for advice? Would they be there if they didn't have this hot take or they didn't do X, Y and Z? it's likely that they may be contributing and creating this kind of social influence situation.

Jono: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's a sneaky one. I'm gonna be more in tune

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yep.

Jono: with social influence. So, and then references we've got the are. Like you said, that one can be a bit tricky, I suppose, because it's the presence of references doesn't...

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: That's right.

Jono: I mean, it's a good start though, right?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: That's great. Look for them first. What are some ways that people who aren't, you know, science nerds,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Thank you. Bye.

Jono: interested in science both professionally and personally. I want some good ways that they can maybe quickly identify that a reference is questionable.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Look, I think the things that are questionable for me, if they're referencing a blog post, that's pretty confident that it's not backed by

Jono: Yep.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: evidence. So there was one that I shared a couple of weeks ago about, oh gosh, what was it? It was some,

Jono: Was it the fish? Was

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: the

Jono: it the

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: fish,

Jono: salmon?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yes, the toxic salmon.

Jono: Mm, yeah, I remember that one. Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: And the author just shared a blog, just a website of a random blogger and then there was nothing on that blogger's page about salmon. So it was just like, what? Why do you even include this? Anyway, the other thing that for me would be red flags is if the paper that's being cited is like 1970s. Now that doesn't mean

Jono: Mmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: that you can't believe it, but it may reflect that this individual is not up to date with the latest evidence. So old references are typically a sign that somebody is not current with and they're not across what we would call the body of literature. So that's one kind of red flag. The other one is if they are talking about your nutrition and they're talking about the impact of your health, but then the study that they refer to is about animals. So if it's about rodents or it's about whatever, then you can't really tell. can't, while they are informative, you can't use that to make a clinical decision. So, so that's a sign to me that they've cherry picked the reference to suit the narrative that they're sharing.

Jono: Yeah,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: And then the other kind

Jono: yep.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: of things that I would look out for, like, what is the piece that they've referred to, if it is a proper scientific reference, is it an opinion piece? Or is it actual primary research? So what I mean by that for those that don't know is an opinion piece is like, it's, you know, it's like a blog in the academic world. So it's, you know, you sit there, you make an argument, you provide your evidence and you say, well, this is my hypothesis. And this is my hypothesis and this is what I think that it means, but that's not proof that it means what it means. What you need is actually a study that says that. So that would be my kind of three things that I'd look for.

Jono: That opinion piece is a big one, I think, because I think people are getting smarter or more savvy about the publication date. And that

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: to me screams that they had to scroll a long way to find a study that supports their

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: bias. Yeah,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: that and we're not getting smarter at rat studies, identifying rat studies, but hopefully people are starting

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: to notice it's in Rotan, so it's in vitro. So

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: sorry, in vitro in

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: in

Jono: glass.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: feature

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yet.

Jono: So, you know, test, test tube. I

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: just a few more journalists would probably benefit from from that one, I think. I feel like checking whether it's a rodent study. But the opinion piece, because that can look very legitimate.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Harry, yeah.

Jono: It's published, it's got authors, it's got references, it's

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: And

Jono: all

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: look,

Jono: good,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: and it's

Jono: right?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: likely a significant piece in the academic literature within the context that it's in. Like it's normal for there to be an opinion piece in the academic literature that challenges that field of research to explore the issue. And they'll go, okay, this is a great suggestion. We need to think about this, but it doesn't provide the answer.

 Jono: Yeah, yeah, it's the question, right, rather

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: It's

Jono: than

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: the

Jono: the

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: question,

Jono: proof.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: that's right. Yeah. Yeah.

Jono: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Uh, yeah, that's I, I also wonder if references on Instagram get away with being dodgy because they're not clickable. So it's extra work to copy and paste it or type

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: it out. Also, people just go, ah, there's references.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: There's a reference, yeah. Although I would say that as an iPhone user, now that you can screenshot and then just click.

Jono: Right!

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: amazing.

Jono: Yep, more of that

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah,

Jono: please.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yeah.

Jono: Yeah, love it.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: But yeah, and I do think, yeah, it does take a little bit of effort to go through and look, but it's often also this is the other thing I would say is it's also really obvious when the author has just read the abstract and not actually read the paper. And the reason


Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: you can tell that is because when you go and search for the paper, if it's a paywalled articles and the author will have only read the abstract and they can't actually read the whole paper itself. And then when you read the paper you'll often find that it says the exact opposite of what they've said.

Jono: Yeah, yeah, there's look, we could probably spend all day on references really.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish:I know, 

Jono: Hey,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: right?

Jono: that's because I feel like that's the that an authority, I think possibly, or,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Mm.

Jono: you know, author authority bias, but, but I guess conveniently a author. So what are some potential red flags I should be looking out for here?

 Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Um, so red flags would be looking at their actual qualification. So, so looking to see, does somebody hold a bachelor's degree? Do they hold a master's degree? How long ago, what did they get that degree? So I think this can go both ways. So you can have the junior people who have just finished their degree and they're very confident because when you

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: know a little bit, you think, you know, a lot and then as you learn more, you realize, you know, nothing. And so then, and you're like, I have nothing to contribute to this world. That's just a reflection of my PhD arc. So that's what you look at. You're like, how many years have they actually been qualified for? Secondly, how many years have they practiced for? Because there are

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: some people that, they get their qualifications, they work for a year, and then they go, I'm not gonna do that anymore, I'll just work one day a week, whatever. And there's nothing wrong with making those choices to do that. But if they overstate their expertise, then that's a red flag that actually they're not as experienced as you would believe. The other thing about author is what you mentioned before, Johnno, is what are the types of qualifications that they have? Are they from a reputable university or a reputable college that call as a crycos code. So C-R-I-C-O-S. That's like they're a registered training group. There are many nutrition courses out there that go from, you know, a weekend to six months or whatever. And they're not actually a certificate or a, you know, and they're very clever with their language. There's one out there that I've seen. It's like, you know, it's a certificate in X, Y and Z. And when you look into it, you actually don't get any sort of certificate. It's just a made up certification.

Jono: great.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: So it's really hard. It's really hard to kind of work this out. But yeah, that would be the things is how recent are they from completing their degree? Are they actually active anymore? Or are they weaponizing their expertise as a way to sell law to, you know, that authority bias?

Jono: makes me think of the rapid 1000 minus 200 diet that is...

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: That one, that one,

Jono: Yeah,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yep.

Jono: the guy that's literally never actually practiced a day in the qualification that he has.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yep.

Jono: So yes, and I would also say as well, if it's difficult to find someone's qualifications,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yes.

Jono: that's it, like no one does a bachelor undergrad, postgraduate, master's, PhD, doesn't shout that from the rooftops, right? Because it is an endeavor and we've got the hex debt and the pain and the, you know,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: beautiful time for everyone, I'm sure. But you know, you've done that hard work, you want people to know that you've done that hard work. So that's the first thing

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yep.

Jono: I would say for qualifications is if they're not there.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And

Jono: I didn't

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: look,

Jono: know about the crycos code.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yeah, so that's a good one.

Jono: I'm going

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: That's

Jono: to

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: a

Jono: check

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: good

Jono: that

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: one

Jono: out.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: to look for. And look, the other thing is that there is nothing wrong with somebody only having an undergraduate degree. But it does influence in health, particularly most undergraduates degrees don't have a high level of research analysis, critical appraisal. Like they'll little bit but if you're trying to cram a degree into three years you don't have a lot of time to go through that kind of stuff even though it's there and you'll see that most postgraduate degrees like graduate certificates or master's degrees are where you spend a lot more time focusing on that critical thinking and that higher level thinking.

Jono: Yeah. Oh, I mean, I did four and a half years full time and it felt rushed,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah,

Jono: right?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: exactly. And that's

Jono: Like,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: You


Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: can,

Jono: know, even with, yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yeah, you can never fit enough in and there's always something, you know, that has to be kind of balanced and whatnot. But in general, I would say bachelor's degree is not enough for somebody to have excellent critical appraisal skills.

Jono: Yeah, I would, oh, when I finished my bachelor, I had a good understanding of the fundamentals of physiology

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: and biology and chemistry and, I mean, chemistry, but all the others,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: you know. And then, yeah, the masters is definitely when you apply that and get the research skills and the

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yes.

Jono: critical think,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: not critical thinking, you know, but just

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: No,


Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: but

Jono: research

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: it's the research

Jono: skills. Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: level of it. Yeah

Jono: But yeah, absolutely. And then I don't know, this is either my favorite or my least favorite I can't tell but B buzzwords.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: buzzwords.

Jono: So

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, look,

Jono: yeah, and

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: this is like,

Jono: how do

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: you know,

Jono: I how do I spot those?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: oh, they're so I feel like anything that says, you know, are you harming your health? Or do you want to make your health better? You know,

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: you want to protect your children like anything that invokes like the mother or the child is like heavy emotional

Jono: It should be

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: territory.

Jono: banned. Mmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: You know, like you won't want to expose your children to this. And, you know, guilt. Guilty language, just really negative framing around harm and death and toxins and you know even like preservatives, additives, they're all such buzzwords these days and it's just a kind of yeah anything that's emotive and that makes you feel some sort of extreme emotion that's a clue that this information is not designed with health information at the heart.

Jono: Yeah, I remember the fish post you were just talking about where it was said the EPA, the you know, government environmental protection agency is labeled farm fed salmon, farm raised salmon, the most toxic or one of the most toxic foods in the world.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: And it's just, yeah,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: So

Jono: a

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish:many

Jono: government

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: puzzles.

Jono: agency is going to come out and say toxic.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, I know. And like the most I don't really know about any regulatory body that will use extreme language like that. Like it's normally and I think this is part of the challenge. Like there's a lot of critiques in science communication literature and kind of sociology, size of stuff where it talks about how the language of science has become like a hindrance because we're so

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: like we've got a package in this way it can't be a motive it's you know and the reality is that humans. Are attracted to emotion and we engage better with this authenticity and here we are saying don't overstate what you're saying let us just be robots and like

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: you know like it's a challenge it's not perfect.

Jono: Yeah, I totally agree. I think there's been a bit of a lag with science communication and science miscommunication because, you know, communicating scientifically is pretty boring.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: A lot of the time,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: right? You know, you read a textbook, you read a published review or something, and so it makes perfect sense that someone, you know, and so I guess do not let me put words in your mouth or misuse the tool. But like you said, it not being a grading system, does the presence of one of these letters or one of these letters being a bit confusing? So for example, let's say that the post is a motive or you feel, I don't know, they've used a buzzword in a certain way, but then you've looked at, you know, they don't appear to have any severe conflict of interest. Their referencing seems to be pre on point. The author, you know, seems to be fairly well credentialed and, you know, from a valid institution. Would that, does that change the way that you would view that post, I guess? Or that piece?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: No, I think like, like I said earlier, like it's just a framework for you to consider the information. And so it may be that actually what they're saying is accurate, but they've used a more marketing or engaging approach to engage the user. Now, that what becomes complicated then is every individual has a preference of what they like to interpret things as or how they like to


Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: engage. And that's where then the language and how you engage in that way. can influence it. But the presence of one of these, or even two of these, does not necessarily mean that the information is invalid. But it's a process for you to think, actually, I need to just slow my thinking down a little bit here and really dig into, can I trust this? Is it reliable? Is this being said somewhere else? And

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: do I, you know, and do I go speak to my health practitioner and say, I've heard about this, and what are your thoughts on it? It's, I think for me, for curiosity.

Jono: Yeah, I love that. And I guess you'd want to just continually apply this framework

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: to the rest of their information as well. And generally, if they're above the line or above board, you would imagine that their posts would consistently resonate and pass through this framework fairly positively rather

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah,

Jono: than

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: and you'd

Jono: you know,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: hope

Jono: you'd,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: so.

Jono: hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: But that's not to say that individuals aren't humans and that scientists aren't humans and health practitioners aren't humans. There will be times, no doubt that content doesn't quite line up, but I think it's that individuals' response to challenge or critique that then will influence, you know, how you

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: progress moving forward.

Jono: Yeah, such a such an interesting space. And so I guess another big one, which, like we've alluded to earlier, scope of practice is, or lack thereof or stepping outside of scope of practice

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: can be a big one. I assume that kind of leapfrogs off you'd need to have done the A you need to do, you know, the author, and then look at their scope of practice, how can people identify when maybe someone's stepping outside of that?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: That is a good question. Um, and I think,

Jono: Thank you. 

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: and I think this is where it becomes a little bit, uh, you have to know enough about that profession or that area of science to be able to make a judgment about whether somebody is or isn't in their scope of practice. And so for somebody like me, where I'm, it like embedded in this concept of a health professional developing their identity, that's easy for me. But what you can do is, um, All health professionals in Australia, for example, have a code of conduct and a scope of practice. And so you can look up their governing body if you wish to to find out what their scope of practice is and what would be permissible. Most most organisations like Dietetics Australia, for example, will have a little blurb on their website about what a dietitian is able to do. And similarly on the Australian Health Regulatory. Regulation Agency stuff opera. You can look at, well, what is it that they normally do? Again, this is something I think it's more obvious when they're stepping way outside. Like, I think one of the tricky ones is like midwives can give nutrition advice on

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: the women's health during pregnancy and postpartum. And they can give advice on infant. newborn, neonate, up until six weeks of age. But outside of that, technically, they shouldn't unless they've

Jono: Yeah,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: gone

Jono: right.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: and had further qualifications. But that's kind of hard to find out, right? Like, the average person wouldn't know that.

Jono: Yeah,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: And

Jono: it's very

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: so

Jono: specific.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: it's very specific. But the easiest one that I think when it comes to scope is looking at how many years outside of practice is somebody claiming to be a specialist because specialists calling somebody a specialist as many words that are protected when it comes to specialists. So if I said I was a specialist in heart nursing, I am not permitted to say that because I am

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: not credentialed for that. But if I was employed as a clinical nurse specialist in a cardiac unit, then I could say I'm a clinical nurse specialist in cardiology. So you're looking for those kinds of things and you're looking for, you know, is a doctor saying, well, I'm an endocrinologist where actually they're in a training in endocrinology and they've still got six years left. So

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: they're the kinds of things that you're asking like, hang on a minute, are they actually fully fledged trained specialists or are they only in their first year of training?

Jono: Yeah, yeah, that's a tricky one, but like such an important one. And I suppose you could maybe be more intensive with your search, depending on, like, if you're just reading a post and out of interest, but versus you're looking to spend some, you know, hard earned money in

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: engaging this professional in, you know, to help with your health, or if you're going to make a big change in your own personal nutritional health habits based on this post. I think that would be, your homework, even if it's hard, even if you have to do some, some

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: Googling, because that's significant, right? So

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: deserves some, some attention.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, absolutely.

Jono: Yeah. And so, like, this framework, I think I know the answer to this, but it can be applied elsewhere, right?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

 Jono: Like other forms of media. It's not we're not just I know we're keep I keep talking about Instagram because that's all I know. But yeah, you know, blogs, websites, articles, you

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yep.

Jono: know, journal, like journal articles.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Journal articles,

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yep. News articles, media pieces. Like if you, if you're listening to this and then you go onto a news website or you watch the news, just count how many times you see a buzzword.

Jono:Ha ha

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: So like there's a

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: lot of those kinds of things and we see it. And I think this is part of the challenge is we've been so used to, if there's a news story that talks about a scientific breakthrough, we take everything that's said. face value that, oh, this researcher is doing this and they've said that. And often researchers will struggle with that kind of conversation because they're like, well, hang on, there's all these caveats, but within that format, right? So it's interesting when you think about this framework and you look at the media we consume, how used to short bites we are and how you do, we're so used to not going and doing a background check on something that we've read or heard or watched.

Jono: So true. Frustrating, but true.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, yeah, yeah,

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: I said to my husband, my husband went and said to me, so are you telling me I have to background check everything that I read? And I'm like, yeah. Yeah, I assume that

Jono: Yep.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: it's not, I assume it is not true.

Jono: Yeah, why don't we start on that end instead of the everyone's like, oh, it's like innocent until proven guilty, which

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah,

Jono: don't get me wrong in the justice system is fantastic,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yeah, yeah,

Jono: but

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yeah.

Jono: not in information information

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: No,

Jono: should be the opposite.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: I am a skeptic through and through. Like you send me something, I'm like, nah, it's not true. You

Jono: Let's

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: got to


Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: prove

Jono: about this.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: to me otherwise.

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: So

Jono: And I, you know

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: there's

Jono: what? I bet you're right more than you're wrong.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: a lot of arguments at home. Like,

Jono: Ha ha ha. 

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: do you really have to be so negative about this? I'm like, oh, I don't believe it.

Jono: You're not negative, you're just realistic and

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah,

Jono: wanting

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: I'm a

Jono: to Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: realist.

Jono: make sure that

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah. Yeah

Jono: you're engaging in correct information. Now, it's, yeah, I do feel like a party pooper a lot of the times, but that's because,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: I

Jono: you

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: know.

Jono: know, 99% of the time,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: there is no party. So, yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: Well, I'm going to go Google Krakos. Krakos, Krakos,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, Kriakos

Jono: Krakos, did

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: here.

Jono: I get the right?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Kriakos,

Jono: Krakos,

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yeah,

Jono: yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: C-R-I-C-O-S.

Jono: So I want to check that out. Amazing. I'm going to dig into that. Was there anything else that we had missed about crabs, anything else around that tool

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: No,

Jono: you

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: look,

Jono: wanted to help us with?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: on my website, I've got an infographic that you can download. Like it's just a little shortcut kind of piece. So it explains all those things that I've talked about. You can read the original paper that's related to it as well. But I think the infographic is probably the most useful in terms of just kind of doing it. And I guess I just challenge people just to practice it, try it. People often

Jono: Yeah.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: come to me on social media and they say, oh, I've seen this, what do you think about it? I'm like, nah, you tell me, mate.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. Such a teacher.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: I don't know, what do you think?

Jono: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's good. That's good though. We need to like we need to cultivate that skill of thinking critically and you know, appraising. And

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah.

Jono: now that you have a tool to do that with, you can have some guidance rather than just like go think critically, you know.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah, and I think the thing that I drill home is just five minutes. Don't do more than five minutes

Jono: Hmm.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: and five minutes on this and you will find a wealth of information that you need to kind of work out how much attention you should give this piece of information.

Jono: Yeah. So you mentioned website, how

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Oh,


Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: yeah.

Jono: we find that?

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Yeah. Jessica Stokes

Jono: Excellent.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: And then you can find me on Instagram

Jono: And

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: and TikTok, Jay underscore Stokes Parish.

Jono: Awesome. I will definitely link to the website. I'll link to the paper. I'll link to those socials. Definitely check out those. I'm not on TikTok. I'm scary, but Instagram Well worth following Dr. Jess there because she you can she's got some excellent videos amongst lots of other great content as well. We're excellent videos of herself applying this tool this framework to Some of the bigger posts that have done the rounds around that toxic fish one. I remember a certain sunscreen one getting the treatment, the crabs treatment, and

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Mm-hmm.

Jono: it's a really, really great example of seeing that tool in action. So if you're silly enough to not currently be following her, sort that out. But yeah, just thank you so much for coming on. Like I said, it's a world that's very dear to my heart, and it's really exciting to see it get a tool, get a structure, get an actual framework that I feel like I can help people apply or refer people to. So thank you for coming on today to chat about it. Thank you for developing it in the first place. place.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: Thanks

Jono: Thanks

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: for having

Jono: for your time.

Dr. Jess Stokes-Parish: me, Johnno. It was great to catch up.

Jono: My absolute pleasure. All right, go follow Dr. Jess, everyone. I'll speak to you next time. Bye.