Form Follows Function



From time to time I get reminded that I’m in the weight loss industry, and often it’s a bit of a shock! Weight loss is not what fires up the passion in my heart, either on a professional or personal level, and I suspect I’m far from alone in choosing a career path only to discover it’s different from what had initially been imagined.

The career I thought I was creating for myself was one where I guided people towards eating in the healthiest ways possible; to aspire to optimal health. I’ve always thought of that in terms of eating less in general and, specifically, eating less of particular types of food. What those types of food are have changed a little over the years, but the central principles for the practical process of change have only become more clear and complete since I began working and studying in this area.

It’s becoming more and more obvious to me, though, that the Healthy Eating industry doesn’t actually exist. It could be thought of as a subsidiary of the massive business of Weight Loss, but often in name only. Of course this could change, but gradually.

Let me give you an example. I was listening to a fantastic interview with the author of a new book from the US all about gut health. This author has decades of experience working with clients to restore health through managing the digestive system. In particular she focuses on detoxification pathways and balancing the gut flora.

One comment she made stood out regarding the publication of the book. Apparently, the major booksellers in the US told her that if the book contained the word ‘diet’ in its title, they would initially buy 30,000 copies, and 20,000 if it didn’t. The title contains the word diet.

Of course the word can be used to mean what is eaten; as in, for example, ‘a horse’s diet is mostly grass’. But in this context, the word suggests being on a diet, and we go on a diet to lose weight.  The deal from the publisher is entirely understandable, based on good business practise. We all know that weight loss sells.

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