Did you know that every single study in circulation—every report and guideline—has to be watered down into clear messaging that supports 300 million different Americans?
The problem is, our population is diverse. And individual health concerns are unique.
So you can imagine how difficult it is to bottle up reams of research on any one specific issue and create an overarching recommendation for a subset of people.
Yet, that’s what a new suggestion from the Women’s Preventative Services Initiative (WPSI) aims to do for middle-aged women.
But—is it NECESSARY?
Nutrition and weight
According to the WPSI, women aged 40 to 60 years should receive counseling about weight—and an individualized healthy eating and physical activity plan.
The goal? To reduce the risk of being overweight or obese.
Now, this may look like a good idea on the surface. But let’s break this down…
Sure, these discussions are easy for me to conduct with my own patients. I practice alternative medicine and I’ve studied nutrition.
But could you imagine your general practitioner or gynecologist tailoring these discussions to you?
(Remember, most medical schools only give nutrition a passing mention. In other words, some doctors know absolutely nothing about the role nutrition plays in causing and preventing disease… let alone what constitutes “proper” nutrition to maintain a healthy weight!)
So, I can bet you not one counseling session would look the same, from place to place.
Especially because how to counsel these women “remains unclear.”
But a medical professional should certainly be able to figure that out without universal recommendations to follow.
Now don’t get me wrong. This is an important conversation.
After all, a high body mass index (BMI) is linked to an increased risk for many chronic diseases—diabetes, high blood pressure, even early death.
So, yes—I agree that all patients should be counseled on lifestyle choices. Otherwise, how will they learn?! (And please don’t say the internet.)
And yes, middle-aged women are an especially vulnerable group, as menopause causes a lot of metabolic changes.
But in order to get good, beneficial advice… we need to recognize the cracks in the medical system.
I recently reported on an eye-opening study that revealed doctors believe up to 63 percent of their patients could use nutritional advice. Sixty-three percent? More like 100 percent!
I do encourage you to talk to your doctor about your diet at your next visit. If they won’t entertain the conversation, find someone who will, like a certified nutritionist. And don’t be afraid to bring your own research and ask questions.
In fact, while the mainstream may not have a clue as to the best way to counsel, I can tell you that all is takes is this: listen to your patient, ask questions, take your time, and be kind. This is a two-way street to better health!
Until next time,
P.S. Looking for another way to help reset your healthy habits this year? Keep an eye on your inbox! My much-anticipated weight-loss formula should become available soon. And as I talked about in my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives, along with healthy habits, it might be the extra support you need to maintain a healthy weight.
“Routine weight counseling urged for women at midlife.” MDedge, 08/01/2022. (https://www.mdedge.com/obgyn/article/256728/menopause/routine-weight-counseling-urged-women-midlife)