I was at a personal training conference this weekend, taking in all kinds of new information in the field of health and exercise. There were a lot of very smart (PhD level) presenters there giving us the lowdown on what is new. With all the scientists there I got thinking about how the public get information on health and wellness and why they choose to believe it.
The majority of the population knows that exercise is good. Many know that eating fast food, processed food and junk food is not good. Nothing mind blowing about that I hope.
I heard a lot of people this weekend talk about getting the information out there to the general public. Honestly it is there. People just don’t care or can’t adhere to what they start.
Look at the number of people that join a gym after New-Years or start a diet. Here is a link to the top 13 New Year resolutions in the US. Lose weight, get fit and eat healthy food all make the list with lose weight at the top.
Other health related goals like stop smoking, reduce stress and reduce alcohol all make the list as well. From the top 13, six are health related. People want to be healthy and fit; they know that it is a good thing. The scientists and the trainers know how to get people fit and healthy. So why is there such a disconnect?
As a society we look for the easiest way to do things. We try to be as efficient as possible. It maybe laziness or it may be a trait we inherited from our ancestors trying to conserve energy and conserve food stuffs when times were tough and we had to hunt and scavenge for our next meal. That is not a problem now a day with a pizza delivery just a phone call away.
People want to believe that the “quick fix” solution they see on TV to help them get fit. You didn’t put on that extra weight in 10 days, what makes you think it will come off in 10 days? We want to believe the fad, the gimmick, the pill or the easy way out. We listen to those on TV, the celebrities, who may or may not have any formal training in fitness or nutrition.
Dr. Oz was even pulled in front of a US Senate hearing because of the pills and diets he pushes on his show.
Dr. Oz was also criticized for giving “non-scientific advice” to his viewers. I don’t want to pick on Dr. Oz too much but it is a good example. He is a Doctor, an MD, so I am sure he is quite smart. His research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, and health care policy. I am sure that he is great at all of those things but he is not an exercise or nutrition specialist. He may know a lot about it but he is not an expert in it. He is an expert in cardiac surgery.
I don’t get my expert plumber to do my taxes, even though he is cheaper than my accountant and claims to know a lot about filing taxes.
We like to listen or believe in people like Dr. Oz and the gimmicks because we want hope. Exercise professionals, the researchers, don’t get TV shows because we are not selling a quick fix. We are selling a lifestyle change. Our solutions are not quick, not easy and not sexy so they have no real sales appeal.
Getting in shape, burning off those few extra pounds is hard.
I am going to be brutally honest and tell everyone that losing weight (burning off extra fat) is probably one of the hardest things there is to do.
How do I know? If it were easy everyone would be at the ideal weight they want to be at and this blog would be a waste of time. Don’t get discouraged. I am just telling the truth. Every little bit counts and it will come with adherence.
Post your comments below. Do you think the media and advertisers sell false hope and their own weight loss pills more so then they sell answers or solutions to weight loss problems?