Fighting Misconceptions About Health

A recent report found that 75% of Americans say they have a good diet.  So why are more than 70% of Americans over the age of 20 overweight?  Why is there such a gap between what people believe about their diets and reality? 

The billions of dollars spent every year advertising junk food may be one cause, but it’s also true that many Americans simply don’t understand the basics of good nutrition. They don’t know what is healthy and what is not.

The Other Side of Complexity

One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said: “For the simplicity that lies this side of complexity, I would not give a fig, but for the simplicity that lies on the other side of complexity, I would give my life."

I think about this quote frequently, but it came to my mind again earlier this month when I read a Reuters article about bite counters. These devices, worn on the wrist, use motion to track the number of bites people take while eating. While they won’t help you eat healthier food, these devices, according to the Clemson University researchers who developed them, could provide much needed self-monitoring and feedback to people looking to lose or manage their weight.

The 4 Keys to Patient Education

A local integrative medicine practice here in Chapel Hill offers regular seminars for their patients and the community. Last week, I attended one on the broad topic of integrative medicine and nutrition—a tough topic to cover in just one hour. But in addition to teaching me some new information, the seminar was beneficial in that it reinforced how challenging it can be to educate consumers about nutrition and health.

Translating often complicated science into easy-to-understand and actionable information for the layperson can be difficult. The seminar led me to reflect on how we create educational materials here at Pulse, and the four keys to effective health and wellness education that guide our efforts.