Monday, June 27, 2011

Local Diet Adviser Plagiarizes "RD411" Website

Kitty Marlow, who claims sufficient education to become a registered dietitian with a master's degree, apparently missed the part of college that teaches professional ethics. She doesn't know that if she copies the words of others that she is plagiarizing. It's such an easy concept to master that Florida public schools introduce the concept and teach how to avoid making the error beginning in middle school language arts classes.

The refresher course: Avoid plagiarism by citing, paraphrasing and attributing. Most medical and paramedical and quasi-medical professionals go out of their way to cite credible sources to support their advice.

But not Kitty Marlow.

She writes for Sun Coast Media Group's "Feeling Fit" tab. Throughout most of her article in Sunday's paper, she simply copies most of the words in order from a website called RD411.

When Kitty Marlow strays from RD411, she abandons another kind of professional ethics. Without citing one credible peer-reviewed source, she dispenses borderline medical advice. She tells readers most people need to take a multivitamin and most people need "neutraceuticals" [sic ] That's her misspelling of her recommended product. And without a cautionary phrase in sight, tells readers that "potent plant extracts" have anti-aging properties and "dramatic skin effects" can be achieved with pine bark extracts, among other silliness. She does not disclose whether the day spa that employs her sells these items and if she has a financial interest in promoting her employer's products in this "news" story.

No harm done, however: Any reasonably alert reader, equipped with basic critical thinking skills will see that this spelling-challenged plagiarist promotes unproven hope in a bottle and will file it in the trash folder called "quackery."

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