November 21, 2012

A Health Promotor's Lament

When I first started this blog I would scan the health news daily and always be assured to find something to write about. From the latest food craze to the next thing in exercise technology, it wasn't hard and I enjoyed it.

Lately, however, I find myself scanning the latest news and just shaking my head at the stupidity of it all. Is anyone else seeing this? Today's eye-catching headline announced that researchers are now suggesting daycare could lead to a higher chance of overweight and obesity in children. Daycare! All I can do is wonder how a highly educated researcher could even stand behind such a crazy statement such as this. As you read down the article it is noted that other circumstances may play a ya think? My respect for academics is waning based on what I see and hear in the media (and around the watercooler). With the threat of publish or perish over the heads of researchers, is critical thinking lost? With money being poured into obesity research (via drug companies and the like) who has time to think about quality?

So I'm guessing mother's reading this will either blame themselves for their child's weight (not that it is even an issue if the child is active and eating well...but whatever) because they had to place them in daycare OR the stay at home moms are patting themselves on the back for being such caring and dedicated mothers (give me a break). Either way, daycare has been around since I was a kid (and longer than that) and childhood obesity appears to have become an issue after I was all grown up....that's all I'm saying.

We need to give our global heads a shake and stop putting any "weight" in studies linking pen use to obesity rates (the pencil pushers are kidding...I hope). This includes all the diets out there (I can't even keep up anymore...nor do I have the energy to). I don't know how many people come into my office asking about a new diet or shake or tell me they lost 40 pounds on some plan they paid through the nose for. I'm tired of saying the same things over and over again; eating a balanced diet and watching your serving size will lead to weight loss. My favorite has to be...if you can't do it for life, don't do it now. From the Paleo diet and Wheat Belly craze to Herbal Magic and Weight Watchers...they are all the same (and I don't want to hear anyone saying they aren't).

I thought the knowledge and understanding of eating, exercise, and weight loss would have washed over North America by now and we would see weight loss clinics, "contour" spas, and the like all pack up their bags and getting into the next racket (I also believed people would chose to research for themselves and not just believe the guy at the bus stop). The race to look younger, better, thinner, stronger, and sexier is growing in momentum and promoting more and more crazy talk. Is anyone else seeing this?

What's more, it is making my job a whole lot harder trying to compete with all this stupidity. My weight loss courses haven't seen a participant in almost 12 months; forcing me to recreate it and sex it up to compete with Nutri System down the street. It's nuts. My course is free, based on up to date research and behaviour change strategies, and promises life long weight loss and management (not just the ability to fit into your little black dress for the Christmas party this year). What? You'd rather spend thousands of dollars that will help you lose the weight now but promise you'll be back to fat by summer? Great.

I want to throw up my arms and scream, "I'm done!" but I still have some fight in me yet. I don't have it in me to hit the pavement and preach the world of real life health (God, I wish I did). I don't have it in me to compete, challenge, or fight the under educated and inexperienced "professionals" out there who promise weight loss in just 8 weeks. So I don't know how I'm going to get this word out blog certainly isn't doing it.

My readership is down, comments usually relate to someone selling something, and it appears that no one is too interested in reading about how you can increase your health by getting more sleep. Those blogs that tell personal stories of weight loss and share their tips and recipes on how to get the best body ever are doing well though...

Whatever, I feel I'm getting my second wind and somehow I will figure out a way to promote health and stay ahead of the snake oil people.


PS. Sorry if I sound bitter, tired, and angry. I'm not angry, but I could be bitter and tired.


  1. I read you loud and clear. Keeping my head in the game through everything with the simple act of reading and seeing through the eyes of a friend. Thanks Kathi and don't stop. K

  2. Hey 666;
    Great to hear from you again. I appreciate your comment, K and hope you are doing well. I missed not going to the last BPWN dinner. Hope it was a huge success.