Annoyingly there are no absolutes in wellness
Exaggerated claims in wellness are commonplace. When is the last time you read an article related to health and wellness, and you finished it thinking ‘wow I will wait for more research before taking that on’? I imagine that rarely occurs.
The challenge with communicating health and wellness is two-fold: science is ever-changing, and your body is a set of layered variables.
Looking back through decades of health advice articles there is one glaring red thread that runs through them all – they all speak in absolutes. Kiwi juice twice a day aids weight loss; meditation is proven to make you feel better, It’s better to take your protein shake straight after a HIIT session – all examples of statements written as static fact.
The problem with the way we have been communicating information about wellbeing is that it doesn’t do a good job of conveying that the content we are sharing is very likely to change. We need to relook at how we make claims in wellness.
Scientific evidence can move on leaps and bounds in a matter of months, and there have been so many examples of mixed messaging once a trend suddenly goes under the microscope. In 2016 coconut oil was the golden elixir of life, by the end of 2018 there were some concerns raised by the scientific community of the breakdown of coconut oil compounds into potentially damaging molecules when put under high heat such as frying etc. People who had valiantly thrown out every bottle of olive and vegetable oil were suddenly faced with making another choice.
I have seen many an outcry on social media of people who feel duped and mislead by regimes that they are now seriously questioning. The problem is that they took much of the wellness content seen online as gospel and did not gauge the temporary nature of it all.
The magic phrase is ‘current evidence suggests’. People may see this as linguistic semantics, but it makes a huge difference to the reader.
If your producing health and wellness content the responsibility is on you to ensure you or only accurately communicate the evidence to support your claims, but you make it clear if there are any areas of uncertainty. Let’s make wild claims in wellness a thing of the past.