Fake news, fake nutrition. From those who give advice without being professionally qualified, to newspapers who jump on the first sight of potential evidence. The implications cause confusion and distrust. How simplistic is it to address damaging false nutrition claims?
Going against society
I trust doctors. On more than one occasion, they’ve saved my life. Once as a baby when nobody thought I would make it through the night, and once aged 11; blissfully unaware my 70 degrees twisted spine required urgent surgery. If my GP told me I suffered from anaemia or needed to take a specific drug, I wouldn’t question them.
We’re taught from a young age, doctors, police and firefighters are saviours. We grow accustom to following government and society. We know the food pyramid table and follow supermarket good and bad colour coding. All was well, until documentaries, nutritionists and highly acclaimed experts came out with information incompatible to our education.
“bone fracture rates tend to be lower in countries that do not consume milk”, gluten is bad and wheat causes a disastrous “wheat belly”. Anyone whose watched Cowspiracy on Netflix never looks at eating animals in the same way. While there are questionable nutritionists and untrained social-media diet promoters backing these concepts, there’s also medically trained and respected doctors going against society.
False nutrition claims secretly true?
Global health care spending is estimated to reach approximately $10 trillion this year. Pharmaceutical companies are earning a billion-dollar fortune conjuring out pills for every possible symptom. Watching Cowspiracy, I felt alarmed to see doctors talk about the medical industry hiding behind pills when better care and diets can provide treatment. In September 2017, I felt uneasy eating animal produce.
To add my disclaimer, I’m not attempting to give any medical advice for you to follow and I’m not wanting to push veganism down your throats. My dermatologist told me to stop consuming milk to help my acne which worked wonders. I feel healthy and revitalised since enjoying more plant-based food. Harvard School of Public Health removed dairy from its “Healthy Eating Plate” in 2017, stating their research is strong and uninfluenced.
I agree with Harvard and think dairy is unhealthy. However, for those not wanting to wave goodbye to cheese boards and milky lattes, other experts and specifically a dietician writing for My Body & Soul, say the advice to give up dairy is one to ignore. No longer can we rest on old-age advice to drink plenty of water and eat fresh food. People still want fresh bread and fresh pasta and eggs. I feel guilty for uploading bread on my Instagram, even though I think its overall nutritious. Advice is overwhelming.
Much is spoken about celebrities who promote slimming products and wellness fixes. BBC News last week reported on a doctor who says “celebrity-endorsed social media ads promoting weight loss aids” should be banned. I explored this topic in my post Our Dangerous Wellness Obsession. We’re aware brands use celebrities and influencers to push easy quick-fix items. What about research funding?
National Public Radio published an article in 2016 on the sugar industry 50 years ago, paying scientists to focus attention on fat – pointing out its bad effects – instead of zooming in on the sweet stuff. This led to dieters being fearful of the word, misslabelling healthy food. Today it’s better understood that there are different types of fat and a couple are essential.
False nutrition claims are puzzling. Perhaps that’s why we’re going down numerous paths. From veganism to paleo and keto, to gluten and wheat free by choice (not including people intolerant). We’re in a time when obesity is increasing, sizes are going up and yet society is desperate to live healthy – whatever that now means.
With so much advice to follow – the Mediterranean diet is now receiving the most celebration, there’s a feeling we have to be the ones to weave out fact from fiction. Us, the non-medical or scientific public. My rule is to depend upon common sense. If something seems too good or unrealistic, I’m not interested. If something doesn’t feel natural or if I don’t feel better, I walk away.
I’m still relying on my DNA Diet results, but of course, though I think the method is wonderful, others argue its nonsense. I have no clue how healthy my lifestyle is. I presume it’s balanced – could I be living a lie following false nutrition claims? I’ll just keep eating fruit and veg, drinking lots of water and ensuring legumes, good fats and complex carbs are squashed in somewhere.
How do you feel about false nutrition claims? Do you feel confused on what to follow, and who are you most likely to trust? Documentaries unearthing the truth, newspapers, or your doctor?