Weekly Competition #28

Submit your SCEPTICAL suggestions!

scepticism skill

A massive WELL DONE to everyone who entered this week’s competition. We asked you to share a food-related claim that you were sceptical about and explain why.

Your scepticism skill has developed wonderfully! It was great to read your entries about all sorts of different food and raise an eyebrow at vast number of health claims that are out there. 

Well done to Elaine Primary Academy. This entry won as it asked a really important, curiosity-filled question that we should discuss more during this Issue: Who benefits from these sensationalised statements?

Another big well done goes to Sluglove123. This wasn’t about a particular food but we think the message is very important to remember: our bodies are all different and food doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, so we should always be cautious of these claims about food!

This competition is now closed. You can find the current competition by clicking here.


  1. For example: I am sceptical that blueberries are a ‘superfood’, because you’d have to eat about 100 kilos of them to actually see any benefit, not just a couple in a smoothie! Plus, there doesn’t seem to be good evidence backed up by doctors. Olivia

  2. my example is dark chocolate because people say it is healthy to eat a little piece a day but there is no medical prooth that this is true all it is a conspiracy.
    By Pancake Destroyer

  3. Willowtown Primary School Willowtown Primary School

    Coconut oil is a saturated fat. While not the heart-clogging evil they were once thought to be, it would take a leap of faith to proclaim that they are good for you. A recent review of studies suggested that saturated fats raise levels of both good and bad cholesterol. epic noob 62

  4. I have heard a report on saying reducing and eating certain foods,one of them being sugar ad takeaways, can have an impact on your mental health. I think this fact cannot be entirely true. Because, if you were to ask most people they would say the food you eat affects organs like the heart,liver,kidneys and organs not the brain. And I doubt if some one were to live off takeaways or sugary food of any kind that they would suffer from any mental health issues.
    Curious Kitty

  5. “Chewing gum takes 7 years to pass through a human body.” I’ve heard this statement from my parents, social media and news reports (you probably have too). I sceptical about this statement, because I think the natural motion of the digestive system will simply move it through the body, at the same pace of everything else you’ve eaten, to be excreted. While chewing gum does contain ingredients which are indigestible, this doesn’t mean it will linger in the stomach for years. 7 years does seem very exaggerated, as when it enters your stomach, the enzymes will surely break it down.

  6. Colegrave Primary School Colegrave Primary School

    Chicken is apparently filled with water to make it look bigger so people will buy it. When I heard that I know why someone people are in different diets,but this must be a theory that has been videoed and assumed it is true but if one person does it does it mean that out of the whole universe more people are doing it to make it true?

  7. Faringdon Community College Faringdon Community College

    We are always told that you get the most amount of calcium from cow’s milk. However, you only get around 30% of the calcium from that milk. The rest of the calcium isn’t absorbed by the body because of the amino acids that are only found in animal products. These amino acids also destroy the bones, which is the very reason many people drink milk, to help protect the bones which are being destroyed by it.


  8. Faringdon Community College Faringdon Community College

    Vegetable oil is usually seen as a healthy alternative to use when cooking, but they are not. They can be highly inflammatory, often genetically modified and are linked to many health problems, such as birth defects, bone and tendon problems, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity, liver problems and many others.

  9. Faringdon Community College Faringdon Community College

    The ‘super’ food I’m curious about is cinnamon. This is because my mum HATES cinnamon but she is a really healthy person who has literally no chance of getting a health problem related to her heart or things like that.
    This is what cinnamon is supposed to help prevent:
    At the end of the day, cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet. It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors, and has a plethora of other impressive health benefits.

    Happy Llama:)

  10. Oasis Academy Don Valley Oasis Academy Don Valley

    I am curious about why do people believe that being vegan or being halal is wrong because why would you force someone to do something they don’t want and why don’t you let someone choose something they want.

    bubblegum broadcaster

  11. Oasis Academy Don Valley Oasis Academy Don Valley

    Some foods can contain illegal dye which could damage peoples health and are not safe for many people.


  12. Allhallows Primary Academy Allhallows Primary Academy

    A statement about cancer:
    ‘Red meat is a big cause of cancer’
    I am highly sceptical about this statement as how many times in the past have people stated the health benefits of meat and protein. It’s on every food plate ever. So why are people now contradicting themselves and claiming it’s not?

  13. Allhallows Primary Academy Allhallows Primary Academy

    i have heard that people say that everyone should be on a vegan diet but i am sceptical about this opinion because i dont think people think of what they are saying. i think this because if we are all vegan we will have two much of the food and drink animals natruly produce because no one would eat it

  14. Faringdon Community College Faringdon Community College

    I choose sausages because they are full of fat and salt which will lead to the development of cancer sadly. sausages are also bad for us because when we bbq the sausages all the smoke will get rid of all the fat when we need some fat in our food. Therefore sticking to the general perception of them!

  15. Faringdon Community College Faringdon Community College

    “Superfoods” are food which everyone believes to give you extreme health benefits. However this is not always the case, we need to be sceptical that the diets and food that we are told by the media is health beneficial to us, is actually healthier than other food. For example, watercress is a food we a constantly told to eat but its nutrient content is for 100g. That’s a whole lot of salad! Another example of this is coconut sugar, which is a manmade sugar produced from coconuts. Research has been done to show that although this contains trace amounts of vitamins and nutrients you’d have to eat a lot of potentially unhealthy coconut sugar in order to reap the benefits. So aside from the amount you’d have to consume, there are other problems. These include things like probiotics, which we are also told can be great for us, and many people classify as a superfood, you can buy probiotics for almost everything. People with iron deficiencies can get some pills containing iron and you can get ones containing fish oil to make your brain develop better. But we don’t actually know if these pills will survive the acidity of the stomach or the alkalinity of the small intestine. I take them every day, along with things like propolis (A kind of glue produced by bees) because, although they become increasingly difficult to swallow, I hope that they will help me with my health and wellbeing (mentally and physically), however, some I find might not be as helpful as I hope.


  16. Faringdon Community College Faringdon Community College

    The food that I have chosen is: the avocado.

    Avocados have become much more popular in recent years. In fact, according to statista.com, the production of avocados has rapidly increased from 2.71 metric tons in 2000 to 5.57 metric tonnes in 2016. The production of avocados has increased because the demand for them has increased too. This demand for the creamy, fruit has grown partly due to newspaper titles like ‘avocados- the superfood’ or ‘avocados,the miracle fruit’. But are this claims true or are they a load of rubbish?

    Well, according to avoseedo, ‘in one study in the US a number of adults who ate any amount of avocado in 24 hours were compared to a number of adults who ate no avocado in the same period. The ones who included avocado in their diet showed a greater intake of fibre, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, magnesium, and mono- as well as polyunsaturated fat. The conclusion reached was that avocado consumption went hand in hand with better overall diet quality.’

    So, according to this source, eating avocados shows a greater amount of different beneficials vitamins and minerals then not eating them. This helps support the claim of avocados being a ‘superfood’. It’s quite astounding that one vegetable can include so many beneficial vitamins and minerals. For a comparison, apples have lots of minerals in them, but not in high amounts. Vitamin C and potassium are the main nutrients/minerals in an apple, compared to the many, many in an avacado.

    So, in conclusion, although it isn’t going to make you automatically in perfect health,I do think the avocado deserves the title of a superfood purely because of the number of beneficial vitamins and minerals in them.



  17. St Saviour's & St Olave's School St Saviour's & St Olave's School

    My Example is: “What works for one person will work for another” . I am sceptical about this because everyone has their own unique body and not every diet that works for your friend might not work for you also everyone responds to nutritional food different ways.

  18. St Saviour's & St Olave's School St Saviour's & St Olave's School

    i am sceptical when people compare grapefruit and oranges because they look the same. in certain diets that include grapefruit, people think that you can substitute grapefruit for orange and it will have the same effect to loose weight or to achieve what they wanged to achieve by doing the diet. i dont think this is true.

  19. I am sceptical about the real benefits of the so-called ‘superfood’ goji berries. Once known as ‘wolfberries’ this fruit has become a popular food trend, and has therefore become quite expensive. Due to their raisin-like size, they are convenient snacks. However, an unsubstantiated myth regarding a chinese herbalist who was said to have lived on these berries for around 197 years has prompted industry sponsored studies into the health ( and life expectancy ) benefits of the fruit. Eating goji berries or drinking goji juice has no significant damage to your health, but there is no substantial evidence that proves they do anything more than any other fruit. Studies on the berry that have claimed it to treat cancers and heart disease were based on enormous doses of concentrated goji extract that would be nigh on impossible to consume. So far there’s no proof they are anything special. Environmentally, they’re fine as they can be grown at home or shipped from china infrequently.
    By NellieBly:the2nd

    • If the evidence towards goji berries is so controversial then why do you think that it has become so popular? Furthermore, have you any evidence against the man who lived for 197 years.

  20. St Peter's Primary School St Peter's Primary School

    If you watched Popeye in your childhood, then you’ll probably know that spinach made him stronger. First of all, you don’t stronger instantly by eating it; that sort of defies science. Second of all, I’m doubting that a can of spinach would knock out a man with one punch (I may be wrong though.) Spinach does have a positive effect but it’s just portrayed in a weird way. Also, spinach doesn’t make you that muscly person. It just makes your bones stronger and durable to more obstacles. It does not make you powerful enough to faint someone.

  21. I am sceptical of the supposed benefits in the concept of adopting a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free claims to help autism in children, and decrease bloating in the stomach and indigestion in the intestine. This is because gluten is the only protein that can’t be fully digested so it’s basically just taking up space inside your alimentary canal, right? Well perhaps that could be argued. gluten-free foods lack essential nutrients such as calcium, zinc, iron, fibre and Vitamin B12. The gluten-free diet might actually be a con – a shortcut to getting ‘healthy’ that suddenly became trendy.

  22. I am sceptical about Kale. After some research I realised 1 kale smoothie -approximately 150g- has the same calories as a bowl of cereal, an apple, a 3 ounce steak, a baked potato and some broccoli! Which has much more nutritional values then 14g of fat, 274mg 0f sodium, 70g of carbs, 12g of diet fiber, 4g of sugar and 40g of protein. That is roughly the nutrition of 1 kale smoothie.
    So in conclusion, a kale smoothie is just an empty 600 calories and although that doesn’t seem like much having 1, 2 or possibly 3 smoothies a day will be 1800 calories of little nutrients.
    -source MyFitnessPal

  23. I’m sceptical about bread because everyone thinks it’s a healthy food that is fine to eat however, eating too much is in fact worse than eating candy!

    The starches in bread get broken down quickly in the digestive tract and enter the blood stream as glucose. This causes a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin levels. Even whole wheat bread spikes blood sugar faster than most candy bars!!!!


  24. I think there is an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food. I think that orthorexia- being obsessed with healthy eating-is an important trap not to fall into. Brands can label foods as healthy and superfoods when they are in fact even worse for you than eating a varied diet. For example, eating flaxseed can make you have an increased number of bowel movements per day. It might also cause bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea and nausea. Lots of people take flaxseed supplements because they think they’ll live longer and be healthier but an abnormal number of bowel movements can lead to dehydration.
    Purple Wolf3

  25. I am sceptical about the statement marketers make about their products and how they are better for you because they are low in fat or sugar. For example coke created diet coke and coke zero. It was said that these were healthier than the original coke as they had less/ no sugar at all. However in replacement for the sugar there is chemicals like caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate and acesulfame potassium which are very bad for your health especial for your teeth causing decay, staining and cavities which put strain on the NHS dental department.

  26. Faringdon Community College Faringdon Community College

    I’m skeptical about carrots.
    This may not link into veganism as such, however, they are still a food that are over-hyped within the media, similar to a lot of other foods presented as “vegetarian” or “vegan.” Carrots are a controversial subject and almost everyone has heard the supposed myth that carrots boost an ability to see in the dark. Now, it had been found that carrots contain a substance called “beta carotene,” which the body processes into vitamin A. The vitamin is mildly beneficial for the eyes, however, plenty of other foods also have it, including peas, cantaloupe, spinach, lettuce and cheese. This substance may, in a long term perspective, very minimally aid eyesight, yet you would need to consume such a high amount to see any kind of microscopic change. Which, in the long-run, isn’t worth it like press, superhero comicsand new-parents may suggest at first word.


  27. St Saviour's & St Olave's School St Saviour's & St Olave's School

    I have heard that if you eat a lot of fish then you’ll get clever however there is no proof.


  28. St Saviour's & St Olave's School St Saviour's & St Olave's School

    I am sceptical about dark choclate

    People say that dark choclate is good for period pains but I say it is not a super food as there is no scientifically proven results as know has checked so there for it isn’t a superfood. However there are plenty of other food that are superfoods and scientifically proven and are safe to say they are a super food like (TUMERIC)

  29. St Saviour's & St Olave's School St Saviour's & St Olave's School

    People say that broccoli is very good for you but however there is no scientific evidence for this statement and it actually lets you have high blood pressure.


  30. St Peter's Primary School St Peter's Primary School

    i am sceptical about a news flash that happened and it said that dairy products could cause an illness in supermarkets but they dont have proof

  31. St Peter's Primary School St Peter's Primary School

    People say that coconut oil is healthy for you because coconuts are healthy , but actually it is not ,it is pure fat! I found this out after looking at the label on the back of my jar at home , I also saw this online on a health website.


  32. Elaine Primary Academy Elaine Primary Academy

    I don’t believe that bacon or processed ham can give you cancer. This statement has been made because to scare people to stop people eating meat and promote vegetarianism and veganism. Who benefits from these sensationalised statements?

    Flowery Angel and Angel Devil

  33. I am sceptical about smoothies as they are supposed to be healthy however they have artificial sweeteners which full of sugar because of the fruit. In one apple, there is 23gs of sugar.
    To make a healthier smoothie:skip the sugar or artificial sweetener for a healthier pick; the fruit makes it naturally sweet. COMBINE 1 cup of the milk, the blueberries, banana, sugar or sweetener, and vanilla extract. Blend for 20 to 30 seconds, or until smooth. Add up to ¼ cup more milk if a thinner smoothie is desired.
    The trouble with smoothies is the nutrient breakdown. Between the excessive amounts of sugar and fat in many homemade or store-bought smoothies, you’re consuming a treat that’s is equal to a few bags of candy.

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