I think the topic of Health needs a new spin. I support prevention and wellness with all of my heart, but I’ve noticed that what I read or hear about with regard to these issues is regurgitated and old. It’s general knowledge that fiber and exercise are important, for example. We know that the average American consumes too much sugar and processed foods. Yet every day I feel like these general facts and many others are re-presented to the public in a way that suggests the information is new. There are many reasons, including socio-economic factors, for the choices people make every day. When individuals consistently choose unhealthy choices, I have to think that they have their reasons. Something remains untapped in tipping the reasons toward behavior change.
Recently, for example, “pink slime” has become a topic with relation to ground beef. For about two weeks I watched the ABC network news videos and read the public reactions feeling personally disgusted and ready to forgo meat in my diet. I could understand the frustration of the Beef Products Inc. (BPI) company to defend its product, known in the industry as lean, finely textured ground beef (LFTB). They employ many people. Naturally, BPI is endorsing the USDA voluntary labeling suggestion. The issue is not going to go away but it will move from the center of our plates to the edge where it existed silently for a long time. Soon we will see labels on our ground beef packages. Some will choose to overlook the label and proceed as usual, and that’s okay. Others will read packaging labels for their ground beef, and others will avoid finely textured ground beef. That’s my take in following the pink slime trail.
Still, back to my topic of prevention and wellness messages repeated over again to an unresponsive audience; the public. It’s due to the complexity of the mix of individuals and their needs that regurgitated health advisories and warnings are ineffective to the extent we would like them to be in creating behavior change. How can we change this? How can we counteract unhealthy patterns with the facts in a true, new and improved for you, the consumer, way?
This is National Public Health Week. I’m going to do my part by brainstorming unconventional spin in an effort to pique the interest of the masses. I like being unconventional. Are you with me on this challenge?