Why Don’t We Study Healthy People More?
Here’s a little something I’ve been kicking around in my brain lately: Why don’t we study healthy people more? And by “we,” I mean researchers and the medical community.
While I keep up on fitness trends and major studies, I do not claim to know every single research study out there, but it seems to me like everything I read is about studying the polarized ends of the spectrum. When it comes to weight-loss, we study the overweight and obese. When it comes to sports performance, we study the elite or professional athletes. But what about the everyday healthy people? Where is the research on them?
This question really formed in my head after watching the HBO documentary Weight of the Nation, which was awesome. It brought so many issues to light in regards to the obesity epidemic, and it did touch on some of the studies that have been done on people who have been successful at losing weight (namely, The National Weight Control Registry, which is pretty darn amazing). It focused on both the problems and the answers. And, I guess as I think about what we should be studying, I’d like to see a better understanding of the answers—and not just the problems.
I may be way too Pollyanna in my thinking and, gosh knows I’m a huge proponent of preventive medicine (another reason why working out and eating right is so darn awesome!), but what if we took healthy everyday people and studied more closely how they act, what their bodies do, what they eat, and how they move? What if we studied the norm? Focused on the good and how to encourage that instead of just fixing the bad? What if the secrets to health have already been figured out, and we just need someone to show us the way?
Obviously, I’m not trying to oversimplify the issue—there are serious medical conditions that need cures and treatments. But when it comes to weight-loss and fitness and nutrition, why not look to those who seem to have it figured out?
Know of any good studies on healthy people? Agree? Think what I’m saying is total bunk? Let’s discuss in the comments! —Jenn