Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Is It Really That Hard?

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I'm going to try really hard to stay off my soapbox here, but I do have an honest question for an audience. Between the media, Tumblr, and Pinterest, I've come to realize that most people don't seem to know the first thing about their bodies. How exactly do those little words on the nutrition label work? What exactly are calories all about, and should we really be "counting" them?

Are carbs really the devil? Is it possible to lose 3 (or 5!) pounds in a day? Are juice fasts healthy? Is detoxing something we should do regularly?

Nutrition is something so fundamental to living; it's pathetic that it isn't taught in schools starting at kindergarten. Or even if it is taught in schools, it obviously isn't taught the right way, because questions like those above exist. And are abundant.

I'm not going to answer any of those questions or say anything else about it (except that if you're interested in a great website, check out the image link), but I do have a question:

What is it about nutrition and exercise that's difficult to understand? The basic concepts? Or do you think media has influenced the collective unconscious to the point that we have difficulty separating the truth, even when we know it's there? 




PS: If you do have any specific questions about nutrition, feel free to email me and ask. This is my livelihood and my passion, and I'm always more than happy to explain far more than you ever wanted to know about your body and its fuel.

13 comments:

Old Kitty said...

I'm glad there's better labeling of foodstuff - I get horrified by the amount of sugar used for things I never thought needed sugar! Same with salt. Otherwise I enjoy my food!

I guess the very simple adage of "eat healthily, exercise more" gets lost in all the media circus.

Take care
x

Linda G. said...

It's not so much that the benefits of good nutrition and exercise are difficult to understand. It's that they're not as much fun as junk food and laziness. ;)

L. Blankenship said...

Ultimately, there's no money in people being well educated about... well, anything really... or being able to discern facts from gobbledegook. Far more profitable for people to just buy what's marketed to them.

Alison Miller said...

I think there are a lot of people out there with their own dietary plans trying to make some money. And our society has become so immediate gratification centered that if you do advertise "lose five pounds in a day," people will jump all over that.

There was a HUGE nutrition kick in our school systems a few years back, but then that required a budget. The food they feed kids in the cafeteria is despicable.

Great question!

Sara McClung said...

You know, I think for me it's that I DO understand how nutrition works--BUT I love junk food so much that I'm always looking for an easy way out.. .*hangs head in shame*

I have started food and exercise journaling though (through the myfitnesspal app) and it's made a difference in my awareness and willpower. Like if I know I have to record that McDonald's cheeseburger, 4 out of 5 times I won't end up ordering it.

Also? I'm TOTALLY with you about this needing to be taught in schools starting in kindergarten. I feel the same way about basic financing. Understanding bill paying, credit card, personal credit, debt, budgeting... We had one quarter on it in like 8th grade, but I think it should be taught every year.

Sara McClung said...

You know, I think for me it's that I DO understand how nutrition works--BUT I love junk food so much that I'm always looking for an easy way out.. .*hangs head in shame*

I have started food and exercise journaling though (through the myfitnesspal app) and it's made a difference in my awareness and willpower. Like if I know I have to record that McDonald's cheeseburger, 4 out of 5 times I won't end up ordering it.

Also? I'm TOTALLY with you about this needing to be taught in schools starting in kindergarten. I feel the same way about basic financing. Understanding bill paying, credit card, personal credit, debt, budgeting... We had one quarter on it in like 8th grade, but I think it should be taught every year.

lee said...

The hardest part about nutrition is that people want to believe the labels. They want to believe that 'fat free' and 'low fat' products are better for them. And then they don't have to read beyond the front label to the nutritional facts to realize there's 2-3X more sugar in the reduced fat product than the normal product. (ehmmm...Reading is the cure for everything *coughcough*)

The biggest problem with exercise is that it's difficult, LOL. And yes, even though you can't just jump out there and run a 6-minute mile today, going home disappointed and sitting on the couch isn't going to help.... We want instant gratification, which is basically the antithesis to long-term progress. It's a part of the American culture that's really detrimental, IMO.

The media certainly doesn't help, and like a post above said, it's a marketing scheme aimed to target people who don't/refuse to know better. What really ticks me off is when these starlets advertise miracle weight loss pills, and OMG THEY'RE SO THIN IT MUST WORK! If those pills really worked, why does said starlet still employ 5 personal trainers and 14.90234 nutritionalists?

oye.
/rant
/offsoapbox

Sarah Ahiers said...

i'm fairly certain that media has their hands in there somewhere, to cause so much confusion. Also, the constant changing info just serves to confuse a lot of people, methinks

Carrie-Anne said...

I think it's because there's so much awful food out there nowadays that people have genuinely forgotten what normal portions are or how much of a certain food group is healthy. A hundred years ago, Americans didn't eat as much meat or dairy as they do today, yet a lot of people now think you have to have inordinate amounts of those things to stay healthy. And our ancestors did fine without a steady diet of junk food and other unhealthy foods, plus they moved more and had more physical activity.

Elodie said...

I love food and I don´t worry too too much about what I eat, I do get my veggies and my fruits. I still eat carbs, chocolate...everything with moderation and milk, hmmm yummy :D
I am not sure if I´m doing everything right but I feel good about my food :D

twentysomethingfictionwriter said...

I think people just don't want to go to the effort to learn about what everything means. You literally have to go out of your way to be informed and some people are just not willing to do this. Great question!

http://twentysomethingfictionwriter.blogspot.com/2012/05/blog-me-maybe-blogfest-something-about.html

Teri Anne Stanley said...

argh! This is a topic close to my heart...I'm a compulsive overeater, kind of in and out of recovery...so I've been on EVERY DIET KNOWN TO WOMANKIND. And I am a scientist...so I get how the body works, and I do understand nutrition.

My two cents? There is always new information out there...we used to believe that low-fat was good...until we found out how much refined carbohydrates are in that junk.

Honestly? The less processed, the better--better for your heart, your hips, your brain. The End.

Jeremy said...

Nutrition is a complicated subject, but the basics aren't that difficult. Weight-loss is a relatively simple formula. As someone said above, most people aren't healthy eaters/exercisers because they perceive it to be difficult. I have found it not to be overly difficult when I focus on forming habits rather than foolishly attempting to achieve long-term goals by short-term methods. I do think it is a matter of education - but not in nutrition, in discipline.