The Sweeping, Global Generalization


originally published on March 12 2014

Food, Politics, Diet, Health, Exercise, Stress, Sleep Patterns, Medicine.  All of these topics have been threading through my mind lately.  A niggling concept has also been pervading all of this for me as well- the idea that an overall, global view on any given subject will be an immediate benefit to every man, woman and child on the planet.  Good for the goose, must be good for the gander.  My way or the highway.

The internet has made it quick and easy to get information out to a lot of people, and that’s a good thing.  However, my observations at this point lead me to believe that the majority of folks in the United States, even those who claim to be well informed,  are quick to grab a single new statistic and blindly regurgitate it to others’ as ‘the truth’.  This is turning out to be an increasingly dangerous way to present “facts” in my humble opinion.

I’m currently reading about cholesterol levels and how they are interpreted now and historically.  I have never had any problems with my cholesterol levels as far as I know.  The last time my blood work was interpreted by my doctor he simply told me my numbers “looked great”.  Like most folks I decided that information was good enough.  Do I know what the readings mean?

No.  Do I even know what cholesterol is and how my body processes it?  Nope.  But hey, that’s my doctor’s job, right?  Well ok, up to a point- but what if the current thinking on what constitutes a good reading is incorrect?  It appears that is just the kind of thing still happening in regard to how we metabolize cholesterol.

Digging a little deeper into any of the topics I listed above will yield astonishingly different theories.  Even if the information is factual, what we do with the information is equally important.  So my only advice for anyone reading this right now is… get informed.  Treat the folks who present the “facts” to you in articles as if they are your own personal research assistants.  Collate some of your own data and make your final decisions based on what makes sense for you; your philosophies, your health, your beliefs.  Above all, be willing to shift your beliefs when the statistics change.  That way if your doctor prescribes “a good bleeding” for what ails you, you’ll be in a position to challenge her.  ~TH~


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