Yes. I’m walking the line of crudeness and suggesting we all grow a pair because I’m fed up! Honestly, if I hear one more client say that it’s okay that they’re having the bag of chips because they are made with whole grains, I’m going to lose it! Honestly, how do you expect to achieve your goals if you’re not willing to take out the garbage?
I’m not even sure who to be mad at any more! I think we all have some culpability in this mess. Let’s take a look at how each group plays a role in the obesity epidemic (both creating it and not helping to solve it).
I think that the current food system is the way it is, because we (the consumers/clients) are a bunch of pushovers (not my first choice of words) who are so terrified to give up our vices like junky foods that we know are killing us that we choose to believe the BS claims that are made by food companies about said food items. For instance, these chips are okay because they are made from whole grains, or these cookies are organic. I mean, PLEASE!
Message: We vote with our dollars, so don’t buy processed food anymore & eventually there will be no market for it and similarly, the cost of good quality, real foods will decrease.
The governments who supposedly police the food industry are absolutely culpable & they are made of educated people, so they are not stupid, therefore, I can only conclude that they are driven by money and secondary gain. There is no other logical reason why in the face of clear evidence that TRANS fats kill humans by well known cardiovascular mechanisms, that they would impose a law to require that the amount of trans fats within a food product be shown on the label rather than make it illegal for the food company to use that item in the foods they make! WHAT THE HECK!? Think about it, governments make money on allowing poor quality foods into the market place & people get sick & then there’s money to be made on the treatment of those illnesses (preventable ones). So tell me then, where is the motivation to stop the cycle. Nowhere for the governments regulators.
Message: Nobody has your back, other than you. You need to take responsibility for your own lifestyle choices. Don’t you put your health, life & vitality in the hands of people with more to gain if you are sick than if you are healthy.
The nutrition profession including Dietitians, Nutritionists (practitioners), Researchers & Professors. All of which work very hard (I know I am one) to tow the company line (i.e. the food groups or pyramids or whatever), and most of them (this is where I consider myself different) do NOT question those concepts, they just keep teaching them. This is where things become ugly for me. I have a real Masters degree (thesis-based) & am pursuing a PhD all in Human Nutrition, so I believe I can read, interpret & critically appraise the research. Unfortunately, many of the practitioners in the profession can not, do not or are not willing to do this. This has lead to the promotion of the low fat diet for instance for the last fifty years or so. You can see my post on some of my issues with the low fat diet and why that’s a huge problem. And the thing is, the evidence is out there to lead practitioners away from this but most are either too busy or just don’t bother to review it.
This brings us to researchers and professors. Researchers & Professors are, for the most part positions that are research driven and depend upon production & publications for their institution. Unfortunately, Western medical research practices are based on supposed gold standards (i.e. randomized clinical trials) that really only work for pharmaceutical drugs, no coincidence that the majority of medical research is funded by these companies and that most medical decision trees produced for physicians and psychiatrists either end at or have as a major part of their treatment a pharmaceutical drug (that’s for another rant, though). I have many research colleagues and friends who consider the current state of nutrition research a joke. I unfortunately have to agree with them. They are mostly in the physical sciences like chemistry and physics, both of which I have minors in. The major difference in my opinion is that those physical sciences have a unifying theory, which guides all research in that discipline to be in line with those principles. In medical & health research it’s more of a crap shoot of random trials & outcome measures. Many will argue that there is no medical unifying theory, but that is crap! The unified theory of biology should be and is EVOLUTION! I talk about that unifying theory in a prior post here. If nutrition researchers would simply ask does this study/finding/research question that I am proposing make sense in light of evolutionary biology, then this would prevent millions of dollars from being wasted on stupid projects that provide zero insights into human health & disease. And by the way, food companies are also spending billions of dollars to fund research projects.
Professorships are research-dependent and therefore all of the research criticisms discussed above apply. Additionally, however, most of the time there is a regulating body (i.e. college or other guiding body) that dictates the competencies and content that are required to become a certified health professional. Unfortunately, these practice recommendations are based on the assumption that the last fifty plus years of lifestyle based research has been sound and that the principles of many of the early low fat proponents was correct (which is now known to be false). Yet, each new generation of nutrition, health and medical practitioner are taught the same strategies to prevent and manage/treat cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, etc… without any regard to human evolutionary biology. This is absolutely a critical mistake and the most frustrating part of all is that this is a relatively easy one to fix.
Message: You can’t always put your faith in credentials. Just because someone has a certification or degree, doesn’t mean they’re good at what they do or even know about or truly understand the current research, it just means they were able to complete coursework & do well on a test. I am a certified health professional, I have many colleagues and only some of them truly understand the current research. Be sure to do your own research and then discuss it with your certified health professional. If they are completely closed, fire them & find another who is more open and versed on the research.
So. What the heck can we do about it?
It’s an easy fix, but not a quick one. I learned everything I could (and still am by the way) about evolutionary biology and then use these principles to filter all of the latest research findings through and see which ones still make sense or try to figure how they might fit. Also, I use these evolutionary principles to adjust my prevention and treatment protocols so that they are more in line with evolutionary biology. There are many non-certified Western and Alternative medical practitioners that have been doing this for some time, I applaud the honest ones for doing this. I think it’s time that we in certified Western medicine caught up!
Message: It’s through this practice of selecting professionals that are more open-minded & versed on the literature, that health professionals will ultimately expand their knowledge and be accountable to you, the client. Also, we have to stop always citing old studies as the basis for our current treatment practice, research question or curriculum and seriously attempt to integrate the evolutionary biology approach.
Thanks for reading my rant! I hope you found it useful as well as entertaining! Honestly, I feel better for having wrote this, so thanks for giving me an audience.
Have a great week!