Before choosing, ask three questions

Steve Fleischman explains the difficulties in making use of research, and offers some guidance

YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH RECENT NEWS that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – the US consumer protection agency – fined Reebok $25 million in September 2011 for making unsupported claims regarding its EasyTone line of athletic shoes. According to the Daily Telegraph, “Fitness and toning shoes have been claiming to work leg-sculpting miracles for several years now.” However, the FTC found these claims to be unsubstantiated. Reebok may no longer assert that the shoes tone leg muscles or produce firmer, shapelier buttocks. As the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stated, “Consumers expect to get a workout, not to get worked over”.

What we know
● Making choices is a complex and challenging process.
● Providing educators with reliable and useful evidence can support effective choices.
● Sound judgment, driven by critical questions, can improve decision-making. What is the recipe for using evidence successfully?

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Published

February 2012