Journalism. The weapon of choice when it comes to disseminating the latest innovation in science, health, technology and entertainment.
But this spread of news, sometimes like wildfire, comes at a cost for the public who read, watch or hear about it.
New studies can contradict already established ones, and in a way that feels like we're fed *pun half-heartedly intended* the latest methods to lose weight, curb the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or Alzheimer’s, almost weekly, leaving us confused.
I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been sat down at home and my mum has read to me the best brain food for exam season, or that the first 20 minutes are the most crucial in exercise. No the last! No the first! NO EXERCISE IS BAD!
And today I read news of a study on BBC & MailOnline where eating two hearty meals a day rather than three with smaller snacks or meals in between can help manage type 2 diabetes or weight loss.
Reporting studies like these can be a great thing for the public and research, sparking academic debate that either verifies or vilifies them.
Yet that process takes time and will leave those who tried the diet unsuccessfully, scratching their head and on their knees screaming out “WHY?” and “What’s next?”
Stories like this get to me as they can lead to someone you know telling you what’s best for you after the doctor has told you differently, sometimes the exact opposite and may lead you to question what you can do.
Oddly enough it surfaced the day I visited a dietician about my own food habits but unfortunately couldn’t get her opinion on the matter as I only saw the news afterwards.
I have reactive hypoglycaemia, which means my blood sugar level is regulated by the food I eat rather than taking insulin and other precautions like someone with diabetes may do.
My level often goes low after I've had food that is high in carbohydrates or haven't eaten enough throughout the day, you may have seen me going 'low' before.
Its symptoms involve: tiredness, headaches, being moody, or I start mumbling my words in a way that sounds like gibberish. Okay I might do that last one all the time. Sorry.
My doctors have gone from telling me to eat wholemeal and low GI foods to telling me to cut out sugars, fizzy drinks, and even carbs to stay healthy and now it seems I have another route to try that my doctors may champion or chastise.
Rather than having a message or moral of the story to end this blog I have a gripe.
That a person will be sitting there with their friends or family and tell them about the next best method to keep healthy, for the umpteenth time that year because the health press is so obsessed with the newest trend or having something to say.
Dr. Norman’s advice? Eat sensibly, exercise, cut down or cut out processed foods, don’t smoke, don’t drink to excess, and most of all be happy.