Canadians Who Care About Science Might Not Want To Vote NDP
I have to admit, I found this story jaw dropping
The federal NDP health critic, Don Davies, is opposed to plans geared to rein in the wild, wild, west of natural health products and supplements that prey on desperate Canadians
The proposed regulations are meant to require, gasp
, that natural health products have evidence to prove they're both safe and effective before they're allowed to be sold.
In the CBC story, Davies even parroted the common line that it's too expensive for supplement makers to conduct studies to prove their products work. That statement contrasts poorly with the other one he gave in the same article where he reports the natural health industry enjoys $12 billion in Canadian revenue and $2 billion in exports.
But even were it true, that there's a presumably want-to-be federal Health Minister arguing we shouldn't require proof of safety and efficacy for products being sold to Canadians in the name of treating their medical conditions, for anyone who cares even an iota about science, should be a non-starter.
And it gets worse.
Davies, in trying to push his post-science world view, was encouraging people to sign a petition developed by the Health Action Network Society (HANS), a Vancouver charity with a history of spreading anti-vaccination claims, but they themselves noted that they were not working with him directly.
Shame, shame, shame, indeed.
Let's Stop Using The Terms "Healthy Weight" And "Normal Weight"
Words matter, and your weight cannot determine whether you're "healthy
", or "normal
Firstly, scales don't measure the presence or absence of health, and so the term "healthy weight
", means literally nothing.
Secondly, the CDC defines a "normal weight
" as one giving a person a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 yet if we were using the word normal correctly, it would differ by country and would reflect its population's mean BMI. So in Nauru for instance normal weight would be a person whose BMI was 32.5, whereas in Eritrea it would be someone whose BMI was 20.5. Given mean BMIs in the US and Canada are 28.8 and 27.2 respectively, in North America, it should be considered abnormal
to have a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.
So what could we use instead?
Risk based terms.
Weight, though not a guarantee for any medical problem, does increase the risk of many, and so I'm proposing that rather than terms which confer judgment, we categorize weight as low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk, and by doing so we'll stop the erroneous use of healthy
terminology that constantly and insidiously promotes weight bias, shame, and stereotype.
If There Were Quick, Easy, Flying Leaps That Lasted, You'd Have Already Taken Them
The saying is that long journeys begin with first steps, not flying leaps, and if there were flying leaps that routinely led to lasting change, you'd have already taken them.
It's a straightforward message, but when applied to weight management, diet culture regularly asks us to ignore it.
The inconvenient truth of healthy living is that it will certainly require effort.
Yes, there are likely those who will succeed by changing everything all at once, but for most, slowly building and layering change, and respecting the fact that their roads will absolutely also see their share of disappointments and setbacks, is the way to finally get somewhere.
Your first step might be as small as losing one restaurant meal a week in place of cooking, or trying to reduce your sugar sweetened beverages by 50%, or actually scheduling a day to buy, or a service to deliver, weekly groceries, but if you choose steps you can actually accomplish without suffering, you're more likely not to fall, which in turn, will help keep you moving forward.