In today’s day and age of technology and the internet, we have seen a BOOM in accessible information online, from all over the world and from all walks of life. Like most things in life, this phenomena has it’s ‘pro’s’ and it’s ‘con’s’. For starters, the internet has enabled us to better self educate, providing us with more knowledge and in return, more power and choices. But when it comes to health, sometimes too much information can be just as harmful as too little, especially when anyone can post anything, when it comes to health advice on the net. Because there is no legislation when it comes to regulating the qualifications for who posts what on the subject of health advice on the internet, in addition to the fact many of us have become an expert on ‘Dr Google’, people with little to no formal qualifications are able to set themselves up as supposed health ‘experts’, peddling all sorts of advice to their readers. Take the latest craze of ‘food and health coaches’. Whilst I think it’s great to see more health conscious folk wanting to help others to achieve the same and they can play a valuable role in bridging the gap between qualified health practitioners, what most people don’t realize is that health and food coaches, have no formal qualifications or clinical training – beyond a 6 month online certificate level course and no formal studies in human biology, anatomy or nutrition.
The subject of human health can be confusing and contradictory enough as those lacking the appropriate formal qualifications to back up their advice are without misinformation offering it. Look at it this way, would you go to your bookkeeper for formal advice on your tax, over an accountant? Or would you see your personal trainer for treatment of a sports injury over a physio or chiro? The answer is probably no because whilst they might have some study and training behind them, its not adequate to enable them to provide the kind of advice you’d get from a professional with years of formal study and experience behind them.
When it comes to anything in life, there are horses for courses, so my advice when it comes to looking to the internet for advice on your health, be sure you’re getting your advice from a qualified, experienced and reliable source, not just someone who can knock up a blog, or and e-book, with thousands of followers on social media, because being famous on instagram or Facebook, does not qualify anyone as an expert in any field – other than social media, and even then followers can be bought for a price.
What are your thoughts on health advice? Do you mainly source it from the internet, the media, health professionals, or a combination of all of the above and do you often find conflicting and confusing advice? I’d love to hear your thoughts?