The research on persons following diet trends blindly suggested that middle age people who are on high-protein diet are at a greater risk of dying from cancer, and many people believed that they should totally exclude protein from their diets to avoid cancer.
Associate professor and head of the human nutrition department at Kansas State University, Mark Haub, said that the problem is when the headlines come across in social media, they allude to cause and effect.
So if somebody is only looking at the headlines or the first paragraph, they may see that and think they need to avoid protein, when in fact due to the weaknesses of the study, that's not going to be the case for everybody, he said.
Haub said what didn't make the headlines is that people age 65 and older with the same dietary pattern tended to have a decreased risk of mortality from cancer.
Those are details you wouldn't find unless you looked past the 140-character headline, he said.
Social media is a great way to get information, but people need a filter and to be educated on what some of the problems may be when looking at health-related information and trying to make judgments or decisions about what might be best for them, Haub said.
That's why you should not choose a diet based on what's trending, instead, get informed about the diet or lifestyle and consult your physician before making the change, Haub added.
The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.