The health industry has always been full of mixed messages. Everybody has an opinion, and the information overload is real. It’s easy to see the effects of the confusion caused by the health industry if you just look around. People are still sick, overweight, and malnourished in many ways after trying a million different fixes and listening to dozens of experts. Too often I come across people at their wits end and ready to give up because it’s just too much!
Especially after 2020, many people have health front of mind. The “experts” are abundant, but the case can easily be made that many are frauds. And those who you should actually listen to are having their voices silenced. How can you know whether to trust the word of a talking head on TV or if they’re intentionally steering you wrong for profit?
Here I offer up 3 question to ask any time somebody has something to say about health. Whether they’re telling you what to do, what not to do, or who do believe, you can get to the bottom of their claims by doing a little critical thinking.
#1. Who’s making the claim?
Credentials aren’t everything, but it’s worth taking note. Let’s even go beyond the obvious here because medical degrees don’t mean the person understands health. Medical schools are funded by pharmaceutical companies who push a model of symptom identification, diagnosis, and pill popping for “health”. But more on that in question #3.
Does the person have personal experience with the health issue at hand? Have they successfully helped others with it? Can they explain their reasoning with common sense or support their claims with well-done scientific studies?
This question might actually take some digging to answer. Plenty of research published in renowned journals is garbage. I’ve personally seen shoddy research get published because of politics or money — and that’s just from run-of-the-mill universities, nowhere prestigious where the stakes and cash are even higher.
Surprisingly, I find that the most trustworthy people are usually those who got into natural health our of necessity and did their due diligence in the research to help themselves or a loved one. It doesn’t take a degree or certification to be an expert, which I say as someone who has many degrees and certifications myself.
And of course, you should never take anyone at 100% of anything, even me. Double check what you hear with other sources and your own gut instincts.
#2. What do they stand do gain?
You would be shocked at the incentives being passed around behind the scenes in the health industry. Did you know doctors get financially compensated for patients who have been administered a certain list of v@((ines by a certain age? And that influencers on social media get paid to flaunt their flu sh0ts or sell you supplements?
It’s not always a bad thing for someone to tell you about a product they love or healthy habit they participate in and get a kick back. There are several lovely people I follow myself on social media who have opinions I trust about natural products and find cool things I otherwise might not have known about. I’m grateful they share finds they love and get compensated for it by the companies. I can trust them because I already ran them through question #1, so I know who they are, what they stand for, and what expertise they bring to the table.
#3. Whose money is involved?
This is a big one. If a pharmaceutical company has a vested interest in what you’re hearing, take a good hard second, third, and fourth look. I can almost guarantee that you’re not getting the whole truth. The healthcare industry that includes Big Agra and Big Pharma make trillions of dollars every year by selling you their food, medical procedures, and medications. It actually benefits them to make us sick but not dead.
I recommend never taking information from anyone with profitable financial ties at face value. Conflicts of interests when it comes to money and power are extremely common, lucrative, and corrupting. Doctors are not exempt from being corruptible, either. Like I said, the pharmaceutical companies give them kickbacks for medicating patients.
Even non-profits like the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society have financial ties that cloud the information being put forth by partnering with companies who produce products that cause the very diseases they’re trying to cure.
For example, the ACS has partnered with Cascade who makes chemical-filled dish detergents. Susan G. Komen’s breast cancer foundation has partnered with KFC, Eggland’s Best, and Aveeno who all produce products that don’t support human health. The AHA takes sponsorships from Merck, Cargill, and Medtronic, as well as Big Agra beef producers. And considering the USDA is a department of the federal government, it’s subject to lobbying practices like any other.
When it doubt, go back to the research or the ancient teachers, and triple check who funded the research you’re reading.