mhAt 26, Brie Larson is already a veteran of the independent film circuit. But she’s still an ingénue on the red carpet.

And so in May she hired Cristina Ehrlich, power stylist to old pros like Tina Fey, Penélope Cruz and Allison Williams. Ms. Larson, a native of Sacramento, has been praised for her leading role as a captive mother in “Room,” for which she has been nominated for Gotham and Spirit awards (though she lost the Gotham award to Bel Powley).

At this year’s Met Gala, where the theme was “China: Through the Looking Glass,” Ms. Larson wore a dress by Dolce & Gabbana made from an Italian version of chinoiserie.

Ms. Ehrlich said that Ms. Larson is not a hard-core fashion fan, but more “cool girl when it comes to personal style.”

“She’s the one who’s wearing the T-shirt with a leather jacket and a pair of Doc Martens,” Ms. Ehrlich added. Wear that to the Met Ball, of course, and Anna Wintour is likely to whomp you upside the head.

In September, at the Toronto International Film Festival, Ms. Larson and Ms. Ehrlich began to hit their stride, with choices like a Wes Gordon slip dress in autumnal orange. “I’ve gotten really obsessed with finding colors and textures that really match my clients’ skin tones,” Ms. Ehrlich said, noting that the shade here was neither “too melon-y nor too pumpkin.”

An abbreviated Valentino shift dress with intricate embroidery that she wore to a “Room” screening was full of flirty insouciance, punctuated by a pair of cameo earrings from Fred Leighton. “I pulled the earrings with another safer option and let Brie choose,” Ms. Ehrlich said. “She’s an all-in kind of girl.”

The golden-haired Ms. Larson seems to shine brightest in simple cuts like a dazzling Rodarte dress for the “Room” premiere in Los Angeles, although Ms. Ehrlich had her hesitations. “Every actress you ever work with will end up in a black dress at some point,” the stylist said. “But somewhere in the back of my head, I hear the whispers of Anna Wintour: ‘Anna doesn’t like black.’ I was so paranoid that the sequins and details wouldn’t show on Brie, but it really did.” Again, whomping escaped!

A cutout in the back kept a lace Gabriela Hearst design for a 92nd Street Y appearance from feeling too prim, Ms. Ehrlich said.

And for an Academy of Motion Picture photo session, Ms. Larson showed sex appeal in a halter neck creation by Calvin Klein cleanly cut from what the fashion house calls “fire silk crepe.” Sophisticated, but not too, too.

“I see it all the time: What happens with a lot of these young girls is that stylists will dress them too old,” Ms. Ehrlich said. “What you often see on the runway, there’s a sharpened and defined feel to the pieces, whereas I want to capture Brie’s innocence and freshness.”

Nutrition is one of the most frustrating sciences in that it is arguably the most important to our daily lives, but we barely know diddly tits about it. Knowing what foods are good for us and which ones will kill us instantly seems like the type of thing we’d invest more serious energy into decoding, but “healthy” and “unhealthy” foods trade places more often than pro wrestlers in a tag-team match. Take coffee for example: First it was good for you, then it was bad, then it was good again, then it caused cancer, and then it cured cancer.

And coffee is far from the only example, which makes it impossible to take any health news seriously. If you’re wondering why nutrition is such a tough nut for us to crack and why people have no idea what to think about obesity, it’s because …

designer491/iStock/Getty Images

To know how different foods affect different people, we first have to know exactly what food people eat, and in what quantities, combinations, positions, etc. If this sounds like the sort of thing that is impossible to accurately observe without planting hidden cameras everywhere in the world, that’s because it is. Fortunately, scientists devised something called “memory-based dietary assessment methods” (M-BMs), which is another way of saying “we ask people about their diet and then take them at their word.”

Hyrma/iStock/Getty Images
That would explain why in the ’70s obesity was blamed on eating
“like … salads? Yeah, super healthy salads and shit, man.”

Unsurprisingly, when the scientists over at the Mayo Clinic looked into the M-BM, they found that the method was “fundamentally and fatally flawed” when it came to studying nutrition. They tried to be tactful and diplomatic about their findings by attributing the failings of the M-BM to the unreliable nature of human memory, but as anyone who has ever eaten anything in their lives can tell you, it isn’t hard to remember whether you eat steamed vegetables or Taco Bell on a regular basis. No, the reason the M-BM doesn’t work as an accurate representation of people’s diets is because people are filthy fucking liars.

We lie all the freaking time, which is why a review of nutrition surveys found that 67.3 percent of women and 58.7 percent of men report calorie intakes that are “not physiologically plausible.” And this is the data on which we base all of our food policy and dietary guidelines. Shit, maybe the fact that Big Macs are considered unhealthy is because the only ones to ever admit to eating them were depressed people on their way to kill themselves.

Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images
“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, an entire bottle of crushed-up sleeping pills, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun …”

With such shoddy information, you can find studies linking almost any nutrient to almost any affliction you can imagine. So what we’re really saying is: Remember that study that linked eating processed meat to cancer? We wouldn’t let that stop you from eating bacon just yet. Speaking of which …