Happy New Year everyone. Hope everyone had a great festive season and the return to the routine has not been too hard! Have you made a new year’s resolution? Does it involve eating better and getting fitter? Or have you opted for a January ‘detox’? There is so many articles and advertising telling us it is time to shed those pounds, to ‘detox’, to get that gym membership and try out the latest regime that promises the new you, full of energy and beautiful and oh so slim, in weeks. Mmmm – beware the fads and the detoxs, the clean eating etc.
The media has added a new player in the bombardment of fads and regimes lacking in evidence through the rise of the health and wellness blogger and vlogger – self proclaimed experts looking thin and beautiful, very confident and full of certainty that they have the key to wellness. But not much in the way of qualifications or evidence behind their polished websites and blogs.
I did enjoy watching Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets on BBC3, in which Grace Victory vlogged herself testing her extra pounds on some of the crazy stuff out there, showing honestly how she felt as she tried various types of ‘clean eating’, asking questions of those that put the information out there (many refused to be interviewed and one that did refused to answer questions on the science behind the alkaline diet that she promoted.) Grace also sought out dietitians for their opinion and the clinical director of a centre that addresses eating disorders.
It was honest, it was real. Grace was asking pertinent questions in a down to earth, conversational tone, questions coming from a normal person that a lot of people looking at these blogs could relate to. She highlighted how for many people this type of eating could end in eating disorders and poor health.She showed how important it is to question what we find on the web and how our trust can be misplaced because the promise made is the thing we want so badly or because the person has a particular resonance for us.
Thankfully, good media savvy (which I am trying to get better at) registered nutritionists, dietitians and scientists are pushing back. With the rise in good quality, accessible blogs and activity on social media by us registered, qualified folk (and people sticking up for us like One Angry Chef – good read if you don’t mind a bit of swearing) there is no need to be sucked into fad diets and detoxs and often unhealthy, unrealistic and unattainable regimes.
Fight The Fads is a great place to research the latest headline or ‘health’ craze. Four trainee dietitians pitting the latest fad or regime against science in an accessible way producing a great website and Twitter presence.
Remember, if you want information that you can trust look for RD (registered dietitian) or RNutr (Registered Nutritionist). Unfortunately, nutritionist is not yet a protected title and people still call themselves nutritionists when they do not have sufficient qualifications. If you would like to help us to protect the title then sign this petition. This will help us to protect the public from people giving out bad, unscientific advice.
Laura Tilt has a great blog article about changing food habits and making those habits stick so if you do have a New Years Resolution about eating better, this is great starting point to make some plans that have some chance of lasting beyond the end of the month.
What is my new years resolution? Actually, my resolution is one for my professional self – I am going to be more active on the blog. So not doing so well so far as this is the first blog of the year!!! Need to apply some of Laura’s strategy to my writing! How about 1 post a week? I think that is realistic or maybe once a fortnight is better.
The end of last year saw me really trying to get the hang of Twitter and embedding my Twitter account on my blog so you can see some of the great things I have been finding there too. But it also is quite addictive and time I could be writing (and doing a host of other constructive things) is spent reading articles, flitting through things, thinking about the things I could say on this issue or that bit of news but not actually doing it.
So better blogging and more effective use of my time delving into the infinite black hole of Twitter (and better recording CPD)……. I fear I already am slipping into an endless list of tasks that without some structure will be unattainable…..look familiar anyone!?
Happy (healthy) 2017 folks.