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The Bias Of Health

More and more, as our comforts and lifestyle continue to increase in quality, people are becoming conscious and active in implementing a healthy meal plan into their lives. From a physical health point of view, as well as a mental and emotional one, it makes perfect sense. We want to be more productive, more energetic and live longer lives, so eating healthy foods is a priority. The only issue with this as a goal is, in it’s own way, related to the rise in information about the importance of healthy foods themselves: The abundance of advertising and media coverage on the topic. It allows us access to huge amounts of nutritional information and advice on products that used to be much harder to obtain, but by the same token those same services often skew the story, and provide their own angle on the information being passed on.

First of all, the (largely) deregulated nature of the internet means that anyone from any side of the debate can write, publish and advertise an opinion piece pretending to be an informational article. A new miracle health food is ‘discovered’ every month and though the science behind them is negligible at best, it can be harder than it should to separate the fact from fiction. The convoluted nature of the web means that data on healthy foods, both the good and the bad, can be easily buried. In addition, what determines prominence on the internet is often not quality organic food stores Sydney, but rather money and affiliation. Your new healthy meal plan to solve all diet problems can be riddled with holes and inaccuracies, but if you can pay for the right adverts and to be featured on the right sites, it’s going to be read.

While not as chaotic in its setup, even information outside the web on healthy foods is susceptible to being doctored. Jamie Oliver may well be able to cook a delicious and very healthy meal, but that doesn’t mean he has his face plastered on every Woolworth because the food is good for you. The food is often covered with pesticides and many other chemical agents, and his trustworthy face is there because the company paid him for it. This problem of vested interest continues into the printed information. A piece on healthy eating by a curious consumer will be well meaning, but ultimately uninformed about potentially important elements. Similarly, anything written by a prominent researcher will have it’s own issue: Who sponsored / commissioned / published the article? Most nutritional experts have an interest in either a meal plan that maintains certain trends, or advocates a particular ingredient because they’ll get something out of selling it. Looking for opinions and informed ideas on our diets is fine, but make sure you know where their priorities are before swearing their health foods into your meal plan.

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