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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Unsaid

Have you ever noticed how the health literature is littered with words like tend to, can lead to and may cause? When you read those phrases what comes to mind? Other such words such as plays a role and may put you at risk should give you pause to consider if there is any concrete understanding of the relationship between health and how we eat.

Just as important as what is said in a piece on health is what is unsaid. Such phrases leave the impression that there is no dependable one size fits all health information. Might, may and could cause leave lots of wiggle room when it comes to health messaging. What is not stated in most articles is the fact that there is no one model of health or diet that can be held up for everyone to follow.

Why because we are all individuals. Consider that there are over 6 billion people alive on this planet right now and not one of them is exactly like another. Even identical twins have differences. Therefore to even attempt to coral into a one sized fits all model of health seems strange to say the least.

Not only are we different genetically we are vastly different in what we value in terms of health. Some who place a high value on their appearance will engage in many activities that get them toward their goal of that image they set for themselves. Others place a high value on being happy no matter what their outward image happens to be. Both are legitimate points of view and ought to be lauded.

The truth is that much of what passes for health literature praises the former while casting a scornful eye on the latter. Yet to read between the lines of what is written about the relationship of health and nutrition it is not hard to come away with the impression that the experts are not at all clear on what the perfect prescription for the right diet, weight or BMI is.

If it were the case that eating a low fat diet rich in fiber and vegetables was a panacea of health there could be no detractors. On the other hand was it the case that eating a diet high in fat and protein was a sure path to health there would be no way to argue against it. Yet the debate is not that black and white.

What is true is that health is an individual choice and it is solely based on individual values. What and how much anyone chooses to eat is only their business.

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