Hey! I’ve had a lot of thoughts bouncing around my head regarding what to write in this post today. What I decided to do is a parody of some of the styles of nutritionism from my perspective in professional nutrition practice.
Nutritionism encompasses the thought that singling out particular aspects of nutrition will define health. If that isn’t completely clear, hopefully it will be after the following examples.
The Selectivist has some strong beliefs about health, but they pick and choose when to be healthy and when it doesn’t really matter. They often use essential oils to ward off illness, but still sneeze into their hands and touch your doorknob. They won’t touch a receipt from the cashier for fear of the BPA on the paper, but eat hot dogs and drink diet coke regularly for lunch. They use a very expensive water filter, but haven’t eaten a vegetable in weeks.
Not worried about the long-term effects of suboptimal nutrition, the Immediatist seeks instant gratification for nutrition-related issues. They refuse to consider the power of regular, consistent eating in lieu of seeking advice from their friends on social media. They are constantly on the prowl for that one little gem of wisdom or powdered potion added to their water which will change…everrrryyyyything.
The Medical Marvel
Despite the wonders of modern science, considering both conventional and integrative nutrition concepts, the Medical Marvel bucks all aspects of evidence-based research. The Medical Marvel could not possibly benefit from regular physical activity and improved nutrition; no way, it wouldn’t work. The Medical Marvel defies the odds and the rules of science altogether. Living on shards of spinach and water, the Medical Marvel can still exceed weight standards, even in the face of utter starvation. It is truly unbelievable.
Capable of the fastest calorie-counting in the West, the Mathemanutritionist can tabulate the exact (or so they think) caloric content of any common food. They are especially proficient in calculating the total energy load of processed foods, especially because the numbers are on the packages. In fact, the Mathemanutritionist will often pass up nutrient-rich foods, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, and instead choose super-processed (but mathematically reliable) packaged fare. Smart watches are a Mathemanutritionist’s best friend.
Every week is an adventure with the Nextbestthingist. Unsatistifed with consistency, the Nextbestthingist might be intermittent fasting this week, or doing full-on keto the next. Satisfaction is not a destination; rather, staying current with the latest nutritional fads is a priority and met with great pleasure or disdain, depending. The Nextbestthingist is certainly not shy about his voyage, and you can be assured you will hear all about the woes of this week’s carrot elimination as you grab your lunch from the employee breakroom. If you don’t ask, you will still hear it. It is often echoing through the hallways. The less people ask, the louder the echoes.
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I shall digress. I hope you found a little humor from these funny (but true) forms of nutritionism I encounter every. single. day. All of them tend to have relatively good intentions, but are totally misled by seeking and/or receiving nutrition guidance from unqualified or outdated sources.
If you identify with any of these descriptions, you may benefit from meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist! If that is too far a stretch, you can start with this book.