Check this out: Lack of education is not the reason people are
overweight! GAAASSPPP! What did I say? What? Controversy!
If you haven't noticed, the amount of overweight people in the
United States has dramatically increased in the last two decades.
Hmm. Why? Is it because they haven't gotten on the bandwagon of the
paleo diet because they're still scared of the high fat and
cholesterol consumption? Do they just have bad information about
diets? Or is it something more?
Most people assume people just need to be more "educated" to
become healthy or lose fat or build muscle--a belief that's so
deeply held, it's become an invisible script in society. "Ah, if we
just educate these fat people and show them a calorie chart,
they'll wake up from their uncontrolled and overzealous binging and
realize the critical importance of eating less!"
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
As Clotaire Rapaille wrote in his terrific book, The Culture
Code: "Years ago, Tufts University invited me to lecture
during a symposium on obesity… Lecturer after lecturer offered
solutions for America's obesity problem, all of which revolved
around education. Americans would be thinner if only they knew
about good nutrition and the benefits of exercise, they told us.
Slimming down the entire country was possible through an aggressive
public awareness campaign…
"When it was my turn to speak, I couldn't help beginning with an
observation. 'I think it is fascinating that the other speakers
today have suggested that education is the answer to our country's
obesity problem,' I said. I slowly gestured around the room. 'If
education is the answer, then why hasn't it helped more of
"There were audible gasps in the auditorium when I said this,
quite a few snickers, and five times as many sneers.
Unsurprisingly, Tufts never invited me to lecture again."
We already "know" we need to exercise more, eat healthier,
control our sugar intake, and maintain our hydration. So why don't
That matrix--the difference between what we KNOW and what we
actually DO--is where I think the true questions of change need to
be asked and answered.
Short answer: When it comes to changing human behavior and
getting results, implementation trumps information.
Stay tuned for next week's blog as we explore topics I've
coined: Age of Implementation and Habitual Evolution and how they
can help us change our health care problems in the country.
I propose a goal for myself: By the time I graduate to interview
extremely healthy and successful people and study what habits they
implemented into their lives to 'build in' health without even
thinking about it.