This is my summary of a fantastic article I read over at Lifehacker on why we are so confused about nutrition.
- Health industry a large part of the blame. They sell us on bad ideas to sell us more bad products we don't need. Their solution will never be: buy less of our stuff.
- Corporate-influenced government writes our guidelines. Just as they have an interest in the presidential run, they have an interest in our food purchasing decisions. Money influences politics and our food guidelines fall into politics.
- Media and science communicate poorly. Scientists have a poor channel in which to reach the general public, often they have no interest in communicating with the public. The media is often ill-equipped to understand scientific studies and how they work, and run stories without understanding the complexities. Which is why they can create contradicting headlines every few hours about a study. Media is poor at science. Science is poor at media. We as consumers are also poorly educated on science issues.
- Our shopping behavior has been predictable and largely unchanged. We buy out of fear and aspirations. We buy when it confirms our biases. We want quick fixes.
- Doctors have minimal nutritional training and can fall for the same misconceptions as consumers. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, it does not mean a set amount of training. Registered dieticians often tow the established guidelines and give you more of what you already know.