Knowledge: Not Enough For a Healthy Weight

We came across an interesting post by John Barban on his blog. While he’s not a registered dietitian (RD), he does bring up an interesting concept that, in our experience, many dietitians seem to agree with: For most people, simply knowing how to eat well or “right” isn’t enough to get them to a healthy weight and good eating habits. He makes an overall correct observation that, in North America, we’re heavier than ever, yet we also know more about nutrition than we ever have.

This gets to the core of our public health training, which emphasizes that knowledge isn’t enough for behavior change. People need to be both ready and internally motivated to undertake any behavior, whether it’s losing/maintaining weight, quitting smoking, or something else.

It will be interesting to see how large-scale public health initiatives that aim to change the food environment affect people’s health, such as the First Lady’s sweeping Let’s Move campaign (we mentioned last week) and the NYC call to reduce sodium in restaurant and packaged foods by 25% in 5 years.


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