Tuesday, February 05, 2013

my canadian is showing?

Maybe I spend too much time on twitter because this is the third post in a row that was prompted by a tweet. Yesterday, the yogurt company Chobani (which had a brief stint in the Canadian market and seems to be leaving it...) tweeted the following infographic along with the words "The world's Healthiest People - Take notes!"


I focused mostly on the 5 countries with the healthiest people. Maybe I'm becoming cynical in my old age, but I don't look at those countries and see "oh, they eat fish, and tofu, and organic veggies and they eat less and try to move more." I saw that infographic and thought that other than the obvious fact that they're all "rich" or developed countries, they are all countries with a universal health care system. And pretty good ones at that. I know that healthy eating can be part of a long healthy life...but all the healthy eating in the world will not change things if you are sick and don't have access to health care. Or if you just got the short stick in the genetic lottery. Or if you live in a war zone...or if...you get the picture.

TL;DR? - this infographic, as with many infographics, is too simple, dumb, and misleading and I think there are factors far more important than diet in overall health. Can't decide if it is my Canadian or my health researcher that's showing...

Infographics - are you a fan or do they annoy you? 

5 comments:

susanairheart said...

Another point about this infographic is if you look at the sources, a lot of the info is clearly conclusions drawn by whoever made this. Not actual facts...you know? I often wonder who is choosing what information to put in these things. Is it the graphic designers? People who aren't attached to the research? I dunno, maybe I'm becoming cynical in my old age too, but I don't trust the middle man when it comes to these things. And I don't need cartoon characters to explain concepts to me.

kristen said...

You're very right about the sources of information. As someone who evaluates and summarizes medical and health literature for a living, it drives me crazy when people cite sources that aren't "valid." My mum says I'm cool - but is she really an expert in coolness? (I love you mum!)

Rebecca said...

It *is* a little bit of your researcher side coming out. I don't think that everyone around can distinguish good research from bad research.

But some people like pretty pictures......?

Chobani is leaving? I've never seen in here in Ottawa.

joggingjeans said...

Yes to everything you said! I'm in the health research field too so my brain is skeptical too. :)

kristen said...

Rebecca - I think they were just in the GTA (and maybe you could get it sometimes at the Loblaws in college square in ottawa) and I'm not sure why they're leaving. I know that the Dairy Farmers of Canada is a really strong lobby - so I wouldn't be surprised if they had something to do with making things difficult for an American company if they weren't using Canadian dairy...