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Attack of the killer broccoli

In his first instalment of 'Trending online', registered dietitian Dave Shaw follows a viral post that shows how easily pseudoscience about food can spread.

Who?

Tim Crowe, associate professor of nutrition at Deakin University in Melbourne, who posted a headline that went viral with more than 10,000 Facebook shares.

What?

The controversial headline was 'Broccoli is bad for you, like, really toxic bad’.

Why all the fuss?

This was an experiment by Crowe to see how many people don’t read past a headline. The rest of the article demonstrated how you can demonise any food or nutrient if you want to — even harmless broccoli — and create a pseudoscience theory with a controversial headline that will be shared on social media.

Where can I read more?

Visit Crowe's website to read the full article. Don’t forget to read the comments at the bottom, too — they’re quite entertaining.

First published: Jul 2015
Last updated: April 3 2017
Last science review: October 10 2016



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