Believe it or not, lifestyle magazines are more nutritionally sound than several health or cooking titles. That's according to the American Council on Science and Health, which produced a ranking of magazines, based on the accuracy and relevance of their nutritional information. And for the consumer press, it's a great, unsolicited plug. Consumer-oriented magazines came out ahead of some "logical" winners in "Nutrition Accuracy in Popular Magazines," including titles devoted to healthy cooking, exercise and fitness.
Leading the pack, Consumer Reports achieved a rating of "excellent," based on three measures: provision of factual information, objective presentation of information, and presentation of sound nutritional recommendations. Just beneath Consumer Reports were some surprising runners-up, with Glamour and Ladies' Home Journal earning scores that put them in the same league as Shape.
Surprisingly, a number of health and cooking titles, mostly targeting female readers, were ranked merely "good" by ACSH in their delivery of nutritional content: Cooking Light, Fitness, Health, Runner's World and Prevention all fell in this category. Child, Parents, Woman's Day, Redbook, Better Homes and Gardens and Self also drew the third place "good" spot.
Health and fitness titles targeting men appear to be the most inaccurate when it comes to nutrition, according to ACSH. Men's Health and Muscle & Fitness both earned a mediocre "fair" ranking, along with Cosmopolitan and Reader's Digest. Meanwhile, the only "poor" rating in the study went to Men's Fitness.
See ACSH's full survey of Nutrition Accuracy in Popular Magazines.