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What Kind of "Health Person" Are You?

Updated on April 20, 2013

Food For Thought.....

In my years researching nutrition and health, as well as my time spent as a Nutrition Consultant working with various clients, I've come across a variety (and I mean variety) of people who view health in such different ways.

It never ceases to amaze me how some people come up with their "conclusions" about their health. I've decided to categorize these individuals into five main groups.

Which one do you fall into?

1.) The Health Nut

We all know someone in this category, right? Characteristics of a Health Nut include:

  • An "all or nothing" approach to their foods. In other words, they cannot even look at French fries because they are BAD.
  • They over-consume "health" foods, such as organics and natural foods, that a non-natural food on occasion is considered POISON.
  • They exercise every day for the fear that they will contract a disease or illness if they miss just one day.
  • They spend entirely too much at the health food store on supplements that they "think" their body needs, since they guarantee "good health."
  • They shun others who "know nothing" about good health.
  • They are frowned upon at family gatherings because they can't eat "anything" that is offered because, you guessed it, it's POISON.
  • They exhibit severe control over their loved ones to the point their loved ones are found hiding in the garage binging on Slim Jims
  • They are likely to feel deprived and miserable.

Why do I know so much about this category? Because I was once in this group. Scary, I know.

2.) The Healthy AND Educated

This group is a little less strict, but still incredibly aware of their health needs. Characteristics of this group are:

  • A constant strive to consume the most healthy and wholesome foods available
  • A knowledge that whole foods are the best choice, when heavily processed foods should be avoided as much as possible.
  • A drive to learn more, by researching new foods, reading ingredients, and being their own health advocate
  • A desire to exercise for good health alone; exercising in moderate amounts, allowing for days of rest
  • Allowing treats occasionally, since being deprived is likely to lead to feeling unhappy
  • Knowing that an occasional French fry (preferably the homemade version) is okay once in a while
  • The ability to lead others toward a healthy lifestyle appropriately, including children

This group is the group that I fall into. I feel it offers the most benefits, such as having a clean bill of health, feeling good, and being happy. In addition, it allows for an open-minded approach to new health issues and promotes gaining new knowledge about health and nutrition.

3.) The 50-50 Person

This group is an interesting one because they teeter on the fence when it comes to their health. Characteristics of this group include:

  • Having a good idea of the appropriate foods to eat, but those foods don't always end up in the grocery cart.
  • A belief in false labels on foods, such as "FAT FREE!" or "NO SUGAR!" means healthier (yes, these are the ones that still believe that Diet Soda is a good choice)
  • When faced with a healthy food versus one that isn't healthy, they opt for the unhealthy one saying, "Well, I know I shouldn't be eating this, but it is just so good......" Only later to say, " guts are hurting, I shouldn't have had that double cheeseburger and fries!"
  • Consumption of fruits and vegetables in a moderate amount, but not every day.
  • Focusing on some good foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins, but dismissing the knowledge of food problems, such as GMO's, pesticide usage, and additives in foods* (See more information below on this)
  • Sometimes, this group will be found saying, "Oh, I didn't know that food dyes were not good for my children!" or "I trust the FDA!"

4.) The It-Doesn't-Matter Group

This group usually riles me up the most, and I often find myself having to hold my tongue so I don't get into an all out brawl with them. Characteristics of this group include:

  • Making absolutely NO connection between the food they eat and their state of health.
  • A believe that their "family history" of disease is what ultimately triumphs any effort toward making their lifestyle any healthier.
  • A belief that excessive fried foods and meats have no effect on their arteries
  • A reliance on medication for issues that can be managed through better lifestyle choices
  • A strong belief that when it is "their time to go" then it's their time to go (now don't get me wrong, it is okay to believe this; however, I feel that even if it is your time to go, your "journey" along the way should be one that is filled with fewer health issues and less aches and pains, don't you agree?)

Know anyone in this group? I can think of several and it's important that I stay FAR AWAY from them!

5.) The I Don't Cares

Ah, I don't have much to say about this group, since they are the most interesting. I can't even argue with them! Some characteristics of this group are:

  • A lack of care for what enters their body
  • A little bit of knowledge on what they "should" be eating and what exercises they "should" be doing, but it is met with apathy
  • A belief that "If it is good, then I'm eating it" regardless of the health consequences later
  • A belief that healthy food taste gross
  • The most exercise this group gets is to and from their car (or to and from their fridge)
  • A belief that the movement toward organic foods and other food industry problems are all a conspiracy

Like I said, I can't even argue with this group because they just don't care.

It is easy to confuse Group #4 and #5 since they share some similar traits. The main difference between the two is that Group #4 sometimes cares about their health, but doesn't really see the connection between their lifestyle and health. Group #5 simply does not care.

Final Thoughts

If you've found yourself in one of these categories, great! Can you move about the groups in a course of a lifetime, yes you can! Do you need to make changes?

*In relation to Group #3, I have some interesting information that comes from my community Facebook page (Eat Well To Live Well):

  • I usually post health tips and information 2-3 times a week. I can view the amount of people who have viewed the specific post and who has shared it as well. Currently, I have 320 followers.
  • In the past month, I have posted information on various topics. When I posted about the health benefits of asparagus, magnesium, and proper thyroid function in relation to foods, I had well over 250 views of these posts! Great, right? Well........When I posted information about Genetically Engineered Salmon and signing petitions to keep additives out of dairy, fewer than 80 viewed the posts! WHAT?!
  • So, I am concluding that these people want to care about their health and enjoy knowing that specific foods are good for them, but when faced with larger issues, such as our poor food industry and the drive for the FDA to eventually poison everyone, they are in denial and want to push the topics under the rug. I DON"T GET IT!

Here's to your good health....hopefully!


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    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Hi Au fait,

      My take: if someone likes the peanut m&m's then by all means, they should eat them. There is a difference between those who treat them like a treat, versus those who consider them a food group. It is all about moderation and being aware of what is going into your body, but not overdoing it by letting it consume your life.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      I think lots of people want to have a more healthful lifestyle but the time and cost involved in learning and doing these things, especially now when our economy is so terrible and so many people are unemployed or under employed, is just beyond their means.

      I don't think it's anyone's business (except mine) as far as what's in my grocery cart or my pantry is concerned. I don't even look at what is in other people's shopping carts -- it doesn't even occur to me to do that.

      As for eating M&Ms for the protein in the peanuts -- peanuts in any form are an incomplete protein. Unless you are having some whole wheat bread and/or milk with the peanut M&Ms they're going straight to your hips like any other high calorie carbohydrate. Nothing wrong with eating them, but why not just come out and say you eat them because you like them? Incidentally, each single peanut M&M is 10 calories and a fair amount of fat too.

      Interesting perspective on health habits.

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Hi Cat, Oh, if I could analyze all of those shopping carts of the "other" people in the store, I'd have a field day. I actually find those kinds of things fun (what is wrong with me?!). It cracks me up to see a family with screaming kids stocking up on pop, chips, and ice cream. No wonder they have issues!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York


      hehehe! I like when an unhealthy looking person has something to say about what I'm purchasing. I have to admit, most of the stuff that comes out of my cart is healthy, but picking out that one thing? Geesh


    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Hi Nicole! I think 50-50 is okay! I always allow room for some treats even with my Healthy and Educated "Diet"

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Hi Cat! My favorite grocery store people are the actual cashiers who have a comment about each item I purchase. Sigh....

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Nice hub! I'm probably a 50/50 person. I know I should eat healthy and I do most of the time, but of course we all have to cheat on a diet every now and then!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York


      Well you can ramble your preachings to me, I won't get annoyed :-)

      It's the people who bat the Peanut M&Ms out of your hand in the check out lane at the grocery store while screaming "don't you care what you put in your body?!" that concern me. :-) But alas, I am doing it for the protein as I am not a meat-eater. :-)

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Hi LupitaRonquillo! Thank you for your response! I know what you mean by having a hubby who is 50-50. Mine is the same way! He is the one who used to hide in the garage and eat Slim Jims for fear that I would yell at him! I think being Healthy and Educated is so much better than Healthy Nut. We still value the hard truths about our foods, but we are using that knowledge to make our diets "livable" for us.

    • LupitaRonquillo profile image

      LupitaRonquillo 4 years ago

      Very interesting article, haven't read one like this before on health types. I used to be a full blown health nut. Nowadays, I find myself happy being at "healthy and educated," especially after getting married and having a baby. Although, I still behave like a "health nut" lol, especially with a husband who tends to behave like the 50 50 type, I have to remind him to eat better! Very well done, voted up and sharing!

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Hi Cat, I agree! Sometimes the Health Nuts can be a bit too much! I was once in that category and found myself rambling my "preachings" to anyone with ears. I annoyed a lot of people.

      I can see how you can be 70-30, and I think that is okay! This means you carry some characteristics of the Healthy and Educated person as well as the 50-50 person. You don't seem like the kind of person who would be truly trusting of the FDA and oblivious to the food industry crap though, so I would say you are more the Healthy and Educated person than not :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York


      This is so true! I almost think I fall in the 50-50 category, but I'd like to think I'm more of a 70-30? See, if I keep reading your awesome articles, I will be on my way to the Healthy and Educated category :-).

      "Health Nut" is a little too much for me, they can be like born-again Christians... I don't mean that in a bad way but some of them preach and shun.

      Voted up and Interesting!


    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Hi BlissfulWriter! I know what you mean! Sometimes, I still do some things that only a Health Nut will do! I think it is safe to say that we can harbor characteristics of more than one group at a time! Thanks for responding!

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

      Based on the types of Hubs that I write, think I fall in the category of "The Healthy and Educated" category. But sometimes I think I am just a "Health Nut".