Keeping a cool head
Let’s be frank, who can profess to stay abreast of all the conflicting health information we are subjected to?
Now this sort of stuff starts from birth. Mothers are told that breast is best, but at the same time not to feel that if they choose to bottle feed that they have in any way reduced their offspring’s chances of the optimum start in life. Actually, on reflection it starts before birth, with the expectant mother bombarded with information revealing the dangers to the unborn child if they even look at items such as a piece of unpasteurised cheese or glass of alcohol. At the same time, mums-to-be are assured that if they do succumb to the occasional glass of wine then it’s probably ok.
Life moves on, and the decision as to when to introduce solid foods presents another agonising decision. The current received wisdom is that the World Health Organisation recommends no solids until the child is 6 months old. Check that out on the internet and you will find that plenty of other reputable bodies maintain that it is in fact all right to offer solid foods from 4 months.
It gets even more complicated once the teenage years beckon. ‘CHILDHOOD OBESITY RISING EXPONENTIALLY’ screams one headline. ‘ ANOREXIA STARTING FROM AS YOUNG AS 8 YEARS OLD’ screeches another. Oh dear – the children have to eat, but not too much, and not too little. If you think they are looking a bit chubby, then you may be sowing the seeds of an eating disorder, but if you choose to ignore it, will it be a gastric band once they’re fifteen?
As adults, it seems that hardly a day goes by without some new research indicating that our eating habits to date have probably destroyed our chances of living to a healthy old age. Remember when we were told that eating too many eggs was dangerous? Now you can have as many as you like. Or when the health giving properties of margarine were praised to the skies, only to have that belief system swept away to be told firmly that butter was the way forward. And what about olive oil? Surely you’re not still using that stuff now we all know about canola oil. Has anyone ever actually seen a canola? Alternatively, if you switch to coconut oil you can use it for everything. So you can be standing in the kitchen cooking supper, moisturising your skin and rehydrating your hair all from one bottle.
And don’t get me on the subject of the perils of sunshine. We’re all currently rejoicing in the advent of Spring and longer, sunnier days. Time to be careful, get those sunglasses on immediately and buy a large bottle of maximum strength sun block, even though the latest received wisdom is we should be spending a measured amount of time in the sun, depending on our particular skin pigmentation. So forget about your partner, the aim now is to have quality time with the sun.
QED. These modern myths don’t seem to last more than 5 minutes – give me the old style ones any day, those that started with the ancient Greeks and are still going strong.