Note to self.

I seem to recall using this title before.  Let’s face it, I’m either getting too old to remember everything or have too many things I need to remember and am running out of space.  Too bad I can’t just empty the trash and be rid of things I no longer need.

Anyway.

One of my professors just pointed out something I need to remember about health claims: the difference between “science-based” and “evidence-based”.  The former means something is plausible, a conclusion based on the possibility of efficacy based on in vitro studies, animal studies, or simply deduced from the pathophysiology.  We might consider this anecdotal.  But definitely not conclusive. The latter is based on repeated testing (preferably randomized, placebo-controlled trials) which has resulted in a consensus of the efficacy.  This is very important to consider when recommending anything for a client or patient, and the difference between simply Googling for answers and spending hours upon hours researching a product, treatment, or regimen.

Being in the fitness industry, I hear a lot of anecdotal recommendations.  I feel as though this industry is wrought with individuals who are always stepping beyond the threshold of what the scope of practice should be.  They mean well, but without proper research behind what they’re recommending, they could be doing more harm than good because health and wellness is not one size fits all.  One important concept I’ve learned, which even experts tend to rely, is to try and step away from a reductionist approach.  In other words, recognize that the human body is a complex interaction of systems which is affected by one’s environment, and therefore any recommendations should be taken on with a more holistic approach rather than a linear “cause and effect” that tends to coincide with reductionism.  Easier said than done when we always want answers.  After all, a single line is much easier to follow, even when meandering, than a giant web of possibilities.

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Author: beldemeter

Wife, mom, MS Nutrition & Wellness / MPH grad student, fitness instructor, photographer.

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