Community Healthcare Network

Wellness / Nutrition

How to Filter Health Information

By Ashley Koff RD, founder of the Better Nutrition Program

We all want better health. If we have it, we want to keep it. If we need it, we want it badly, and then too, we want to keep it.

Better nutrition fuels better health. So we seek and we share information. And then we seek and we share more information. This can lead us to become overwhelmed with too much nutrition information, a condition that I call INFObesity.

To be clear, information is not the problem and not all information is bad or wrong. In fact, much information today is good quality. Like the fats we eat, some information is needed as it helps promote optimal functioning. However, like fat, too much information can be unhealthy. It overwhelms, weighs down, and interferes with our body’s optimal functioning by distracting our mind. This is why being exposed to too much information can threaten your health.

So what can you do about it?

Stop overwhelming your mind and body with too much health information with this exercise:

  1. Grab a piece of paper.
  2. Draw a bull’s eye with five circles (like a dart board).
  3. In the center circle, write “Me Today”. This circle represents for who you really are right now. Write down your likes, dislikes, lifestyle, health status, choices, and resources.
  4. In the next circle, write “My Health – Top 5”.  This circle represents who you are based on the top 5 things that are most important to your current health status and health goals.
  5. In the next circle, write “Me, Myself, and I”. This area represents the roles you play in your life currently like friend, spouse, ballerina, and more.
  6. In the next circle, write “You Don’t Really Know Me”. This area is how a company would target you if they didn’t know you on a personal level (so by your age, gender, where you live, your household role, your work).
  7. In the final circle write “You Don’t Know Me at All”. The outer circle is not targeted to you at all.

Now on a separate piece of paper, jot down all the sources of nutrition and health information that you encounter in a week. Your neighbor, your guardian, a tweet, a magazine article, a TV commercial, a package of food, a yoga instructor, a dietitian or doctor’s advice.

Now assign each of the sources to a place on your bull’s eye.

When most of your information comes from sources in the first two circles (the bull’s eye and the next circle) you do better at maintaining your health. You can still have too much information, but at least you are getting information specific to who you really are right now and to your personal health goals.

Look at the rest of your bull’s eye. How on track are you for getting information targeted specifically to who you really are each week? Are there sources that you could let go or even block? Are there sources that you need?

To better control the information you receive, assess who you are right now. Keep what is working, and take a second look at all the sources you come in contact with.This will help ensure that you have real support and better tools to guide your choices with regards to your health.


Ashley Koff, RD

Email Ashley to get her FREE Better Nutrition Guide at [email protected]

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