Why do so many people dispute or avoid the facts about the benefits of nutrition, diet, or fitness?
there is more information and scientific fact today than at any other time yet obesity and other dis-ease proliferate. What are the contributing factors to the seemingly declining health of our nation?
You have asked two questions there - why do people deny that healthy things are good for them and why is the nation's health declining?
People cannot hold two opposing thoughts in their minds at the same time (IFestinger, cognitive dissonance). This means that if they believe their diet (in terms of what they ACTUALLY eat) is good for them or they are determined to eat what they like and as much of what they like as they like, they cannot also believe that a healthy diet is for them. Festinger would say that they will change their beliefs, rather than change their behaviour! It's the same with exercise. Everyone "knows" that exercise is "good" for you. If a person does not like exercise or does not want to do it, they will come to believe that exercise "is not for them" or that "not in this case" applies to them.
The book "Changing for good" by Prochaska investigated how people motivated themselves to give up smoking or overeating, etc. He found (I think) 7 levels of motivation and the lowest one was where people refused to talk about their bad habit, denied it was bad or said "it wasn't too bad".
Contributory factors to declining health? People's health in general has improved over the last 100 years if you look at the average age of death and the fact of increasingly older populations. Clean water, good sanitation, vaccination, etc have all contributed to healthier populations in the developed world. Obesity, yes, appears to be an epidemic. I would suggest increasing affluence, and increasing availability of easy food is the main contributory factor. When I was young, people could not afford to eat in restaurants and there was no such thing as "fast food". My mother did not believe in allowing children to eat between meals and confectionery was only available in small amounts and I think it was relatively more expensive than than it is now.
Thank you DreamerMeg for your answer. Very interesting. I believe I have read the ability to hold opposing viewpoints on the same subject is an indication of intelligence. Where does that leave us if we cannot see both sides of the story?
Hi Born2care. This is not actually the same as holding opposing viewpoints. These are beliefs!
first i would like to address the health of the nation. it really is true that the health of a kingdom/nation is dependent on its rulers. when you have corrupt rulers you have failing land and people. the main reason being that the actions of the rulers affect every aspect of the people they rule as well as the land. also, technology/progress is not always beneficial. our air is polluted. our land is polluted, our food is polluted. our food has been stripped of its nutritional values.
on the individual face of things, obesity is not always about over eating. i am obese, yet i barely eat. i have had a problem with weight gain since i hit puberty. nothing i do makes any difference. i have tried every diet, and when i had good enough health i exercised regularly. in discussing this with my dietician, she told me that even though she usually discourages the lap-band surgery, in my case she would like me to think about it. are there obese people who over eat? yes, of course there is. are some of them refusing to exercise when they can and should? definitely. my point is not to judge all obese people as being lazy over eater. some of us cannot change the way we are.
Please forgive me. My comment on obesity was not intended to be a judgment. I recognize there are many reasons for this condition and I am not a medical doctor or nutritionist, nor am I intending to generalize in this area. Thanks!
I think that the simplest answer is that people simply are afraid or unwilling to take responsibility for their own health - because it means taking responsibility for our illness, and perhaps our early demise.
I think you are being a little harsh. I think most plan to do something about their health but keep putting it off until they get the wakeup call. in my case, finding out I was a Type II Diabetic made me much healthier. I just can't buy health ins.
Thank you, Larry. I don't mean to be harsh. It is natural to avoid responsibility. We all do it. I'm just trying to be an alarm clock. I'm glad for your wakeup call- I just want that for everyone, preferably before a difficult illness.
All healthy things are not healthy for all people. As a Type II Diabetic, I have to limit my intake of fresh fruit.
While some things might be healthy, I just cannot eat them--Brussels Sprouts are at the top of the list.
Finally, I do not like being told I need to be on a fruit die, vegetable diet or that I should not eat red meat.
I limit sweets. I watch my carbs. I watch my weight.
We have gotten lazy. My kids all know what to eat, how to cook and where to get food to cook. They frequently opt for fast food because they don't want to wait or move to make the food. When my oldest lost his job,they started eating at home he and his wife lost 15 pounds.
I grew cantaloup this summer and the darn things nearly went bad because nobody want to cut them. Did I say nearly. At the brink of losing such delicious fruit, the last one magically disappeared one night.
I know somebody that is obese and out of shape. To me it seems like he thinks exercising and eating healthy foods is torture. He does not like the idea of getting exercise and eating healthy so he does not try. Lots of people think maintaining their body is too much work. They want to enjoy their life. Another reason people do not exercise regularly or eat healthy foods is because they think don't have the time or energy.
Most people don't dispute the benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise. They just have a lot of negative beliefs about it. I exercise almost every day and maintain a fairly healthy diet. It makes me feel good and I enjoy it. However if I try to convert people they think I am weird or crazy. People don't need do as much physical work now days as they did in the past and unhealthy food is easier to get. They don't want to work harder than they need to and as a result they become unhealthy.
Totally with you. I know people who can find more reasons not to move than there are grains of sand on the beach..
You said, "They just have a lot of negative beliefs about it." Tony Robbins once said, "There are only 2 reasons why people do anything; to gain pleasure or avoid pain." Avoidance is the strongest!
I think people can't manage their time proper way in fast life style, Sometime lazy so they take fast food. People don't take care many cases till they are not face any problem regarding health this is most human nature. They don't think they face any problem so they avoid the facts abut the befits of nutrition, diet and fitness.
I think there are a number of reasons. First, habit and resistance to change - we like the food we grew up eating, we see it as somehow part of our identity and our sense of belonging to a family or culture.
I've met people with diabetes who say "I'd rather have a short life and enjoy it than a long one where I'm miserable" It's false logic because the side-effects of uncontrolled diabetes are unlikely to allow them to have any kind of happy life, short or otherwise. Also, a healthy diet does not mean munching on alfalfa sprouts all day and if we feel healthier, we are more likely to feel happier.
Another excuse people come up with is "If your name is on the bullet, it will get you one way or another" i.e. our death is fated, so it makes no difference if we exercise or eat healthily, smoke, etc. This is obviously nonsense, not only disproved by statistics but defies common sense - it's like saying you may as well go for a stroll down the center of a six-lane highway, because if a truck is fated to hit you, it will hit you anyway.
People make these nonsensical excuses to enable them to avoid change because their current habits are providing some kind of positive comfort emotionally and they are afraid of losing that. Sometimes, given a shock, they will face it. I knew a man who gave up a 60 a day smoking habit of a lifetime because the surgeon would not operate to save his life unless he did. Often, it takes something like that to jolt you out of your cosy rut.
Also, scientists now know that we are hard-wired to be optimistic. We over-rate our own chances and under-rate risks. In the wild, this optimism aids survival - we don't give up when logic says we should. In our society, it often kills us.
This is a "Facebook" answer...I liked it! I particularly liked the idea that we are hard wired for optimism. I do believe that we act on what we believe and not what we know!
Your style of answering is the bomb!
Thanks, Born2care2001! I don't know if I'm allowed to post a link, but there is a BBC Horizon program on YouTube about the unconscious mind; the part about hard-wired optimist starts 20 mins in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM_iiPFkNas
1.) GMOs for one by Monsanto and other smaller corporations.
Genetically Modified Organisms in foods approved by the FDA (which has a former corp executive from Monsanto in charge of approvals) .
Yes, they experiment with spider proteins with farm animals. Frankenfoods. Corn crops definitely have this stuff in them. OK, the facts are from test spanning the last 15 years or so that it is seriously affects your inside organs since the GMO mutate and do not produce the same intention.
2.) People are more sedentary - more laptops, more emails from computers instead of trips to the post office, shop online instead of in-store,
3.) super size fast food meals, combo meals at take outs. Oh, yes give me more GMOs please.
Gas prices going up helps people use bicycles more so that is good. Foods are sometimes listed with No GMOs so that is good. MMA and extreme sports are good as it gets some of the young generation into physical fitness, everyone on reality shows are typically in decent shape but since the media makes it a no-no to criticize a fat person, they can feel more at ease to continue with a bad lifestyle. It's OK to be overweight by 30 lbs or more. No, not really,
There are 100s of fallout problems from being obese. It is not OK. Maybe the agricultural corporations on wall street have put money into pockets of media bigwigs to silence this.
The first lady's fight against it is so muted by the media it is funny. Yet how we still persevere as a nation in the Olympics & pro sports that it is surprising.
There are young and older people who still east fast food & do not get fat. Most of them eat it in moderation and not excess (super size). Just get a burger and combine it with fruit juice or a fruit and veggie pack. Baby steps like this can help. Do you really need large fries and a large sugary drink? For once in a while is fine. When I do get a burger (once a month at most) , I get it alone w/o the fat mayo,ketchup or cheese, no fries, etc..
Disclosure: I do have some overweight friends and help them with some tips
One reason is due to the brain. The neuotransmitters! Food is an adiction like drug abuse or alcoholisim. I wont go into the details but if you ever check out adictions and the brains chemical process you may be inlightened!
I don't think it's that people avoid advice, but people, particularly people in deprived areas, are purposefully kept uneducated about healthy living. If you have visited a deprived area, you will be disgusted by the lack of resources, including access to affordable healthy food choices. It suits some very powerful groups to keep people in their places, and keeping people uneducated and unhealthy is a strong way of controlling society.
Ofcourse the role of nutrition and fitness in the overall wellbeing of an individual cannot be questioned, but these scientific studies on the findings of most of the foods are contradicted by other. There are no established truth or studies that authenticate that these foods causes these effects on the body. Say for example, doctors say that sweet potatoes and mangoes are not good for diabetics, but there are studies that deny these claims
Secondly, people dont know how much of a certain food (even if it is a fruit or vegetable) has to be consumed for reaping its benefits. Half the population are unaware of the toxicity of that fruit or vegetables if it consumed in considerably large quantities or probably not consumed in the required quantities. Therefore it is my humble opinion that even though the basic concept of nutrition and fitness cannot be questioned, the steps that has to be followed to attain it has got various contradictions
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