There’s More to Health Than Nutrition Labels
By Lauren Myers--Over the past decade, our society has become increasingly aware of what we put in our bodies. We see and hear about food even at times when we’re not thinking about meals—company advertisements, celebrity endorsements, sporting event sponsor signs, etc. While being mindful of what we put in our bodies is not necessarily a bad thing, a constant bombardment of nutritional information might be.
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that 20 years after the original nutrition labeling law went into effect, packaged food labels will soon be revamped. Labels will place a bigger emphasis on total calories, “real” serving sizes, added sugars and other factors to “help people make healthy food choices.”
Although this change could take years to be fully implemented, we already live in a world where the majority of people have an unhealthy relationship with food. Adding this type of information to food just furthers the obsession with diet culture that plagues our society. It’s going to foster an environment where eating disorders, restriction and exercise addiction will continue to thrive.
I had an extensive and detailed knowledge of nutrition. But as a result of my eating disorder, the information became inaccurate, misleading and dangerous. I was applying it in ways that inhibited rather than promoted my health and wellbeing. I lost touch with my body’s natural hunger and fullness cues, my metabolism and my ability to process and regulate food, all of which disrupted the enjoyment of food.
Related: 5 Reasons to Cook in Recovery
However, after about two years of nutrition therapy with my extraordinary dietitian, I started to adequately meet my body’s daily nutritional needs, and gained a balanced and sustainable relationship to food that’s free from negative or distorted thoughts about myself. I am now able to listen to and trust my body’s internal cues.
I’ve learned that rather than removing things from our lives like certain foods or a particular amount of calories, fat grams or sugars, we should focus on adding more things to our lives: like time outside, random acts of kindness and compassion for ourselves!
About the blogger: Lauren is a student at Simpson College majoring in philosophy and minoring in women's studies and exercise science. On campus, Lauren is involved TriDelta, SELF - a body positivity and activism group, SARA - Sexual Assault Response Advocates and volunteering.
Top image courtesy of The Love Yourself Challenge