Tornado insights

I found the tornado story to be fascinated, but it was also hard to overlook the similarities with health.

Firstly, so much effort is put into showing the consequences of physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and overweight and obesity.

But there are very few people who genuinely don’t understand the impacts, or at least the importance.

Maybe it’s time to place an emphasis on better understanding why people might be gravitating towards these in the first place.

For health professionals, be it doctors, physios, nutritionists or trainers, it’s much easier to come up with a single program/treatment/intervention.

Or to apply it to weight loss specifically, it’s much easier to write one book than one hundred personalised strategies.

Secondly, most people think these negative consequences won’t happen to them, or that future them will rectify the issue before it becomes a major problem.

The probability is that this is not the case.

So what’s the solution?

I don’t know.

But maybe the communications can be changed to be more engaging and understandable for the average person on the street.

Maybe there are ways to help people better understand the potential threats to them - not just the general consequences - earlier in life, instead of when it becomes too late to do anything.

While the negative health impacts of lifestyle factors don’t have the rapid onset and destructive nature of a tornado, there are many similarities in the irrational nature of human behaviour.

But instead of saying it’s up the individual to make changes that are in their best interest, it might be more rational for health professionals to learn more about this phenomenon and then look at the ways in which we communicate to better engage with the people who we talk to, instead of our peers.

Tom Fitzgerald