The perception among many researchers is that public trust in nutrition science is eroding. This insight contrasts with the view that public trust in science is a broad activity that has remained seemingly stable for almost 50 years and remains strong today.
The loss of public confidence is likely a consequence of multiple factors, including:
To address this, in 2016 the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) commissioned a Blue Ribbon Panel on “Ensuring Trust in Nutrition Science” to develop best practices regarding how to work collaboratively with various stakeholders across sectors and disciplines while maintaining transparency and scientific rigour in nutrition science.
The report outlined a series of recommendations that attempt to address the decline in public trust regarding nutritional science:
Among the numerous information sources, healthcare providers and academic-based nutrition scientists may be the most trusted sources for health or nutrition information. The quality and accuracy of nutrition information are therefore essential to establish best practices that effectively earn and enhance public trust.
At Unilever, we take this responsibility seriously. Our Code of Business Principles is our guidebook for putting our values into practice. It sets out a clear standard of conduct to ensure that we always make the right choices, providing a framework of simple “musts” and “must nots” which not only protects Unilever but helps us make a meaningful impact on the lives of millions of people who use our products.
Garza, C., Stover, P.J., Ohlhorst, S.D., Field, M.S., Steinbrook, R., Rowe, S., Woteki, C. and Campbell, E., 2019. Best practices in nutrition science to earn and keep the public’s trust. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 109(1), pp.225-243.