12 November 2010

Why is Diet Always Listed First?

I had intended on another post today; however, my thoughts and heart just weren't in it. It is almost complete, but my final thoughts just went away when I read another study advocating diet and lifestyle changes to manage diabetes. Others have already written about this, but now it is my turn.

I must state that I have some doctor's and medical limitations, but I do believe in what I am advocating. Understanding why almost every article and study about lifestyles and the need to change lifestyles starts with diet and lifestyle changes is something that does not set well with me. Many of these articles do mention exercise someplace, but the emphasis definitely excludes exercise. If the article is about nutrition, often exercise is not even mentioned.

So with this in mind, I need to look at why this happens. The quickest thought is that there is no money in covering exercise. While the next thought applies to exercise and diet, they are something that people choose to do themselves and habits can be hard to change. Most people do use the term diet to mean what we eat and nutrition. What many writers forget is that many people have tried diets (way of losing weight) and have discovered that diets fail. This generally leads to people not reading some articles when diet is the lead.

Lifestyle is harder to define. Does lifestyle not include exercise, diet, and healthcare habits. Or are we supposed to think this is couch-potato habits and other unhealthy habits? Maybe I am reaching to think that researchers are not totally defining lifestyle, and possibly using this to avoid talking about issues that they know people will not accept.

I have and will probably continue to use the word lifestyle, I would define it as including exercise, nutrition, and other habits such as smoking, drinking, and not leading a sedentary life. When a person has diabetes, they must, if health allows, exercise, normally change the types of foods consumed or restrict the quantity, and stop the unhealthy habits as quickly as possible.

I will more than likely continue to wish that exercise is given a more prominent position in studies, and articles about many chronic diseases and especially diabetes. Some writers seem to consciously seem to separate exercise and diet (nutrition) and discuss each separately and then cover lifestyle. This I understand and accept. I would hope that writers about diabetes would re-prioritize their writing so that exercise is number one, nutrition is number 2, and lifestyle is number 3.

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