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About Health Apps

Getting support is key when losing weight via eating primarily plants, and apps can be useful. I've learned that friends and family may love us, but when it comes to Food + Fitness as Medicine, resistance often follows. Suddenly, everyone we know has become an expert overnight and our plant-focused diet and lifestyle changes seem to act like a golden ticket, allowing all advice (and judgements) to be shared no matter how mis/disinformed people might be. It's NOISY out there, so choose your support, apps, guidance, purchases, and food + beverage education resources wisely.

"No disease, which can be treated by diet, should be treated with any other means." 

- Maimonides, Medieval Sephardic Jewish Philosopher (died 1204)

Example One: Noom is a popular app to help people lose weight and that's great. They aren't plant-based, although their marketing clearly says they are. What? They encourage a "plant forward" diet along with "lean protein" (they also say: eat anything). This is a classic example of non-words with meaning. We all know that "plant forward" means omnivorous and "lean protein" is shorthand for chicken, turkey, or fish, right? 

 

To be fair, they offer a well-rounded focus on meal logs, exercise, sleep, stress, emotions, self-care, and psychology. This diet app could be used with success for people who are vegetarian or still eating animals but want to eat more plants. In short, Noom is a successful, omnivorous program that embellishes its approach. 

Has Truth in Advertising finally perished in the business world?  Yes, afraid so. 

 

Example Two: Fast Easy is a popular intermittent fasting app. A similar, misleading marketing message about being health-focused isn't quite true. Guides, menus, recipes, water consumption, steps, and weighing in are all included. Also covered are specific documents such as What's the best diet for you? The first section is all about whole plant foods. Just after this first option is... drumroll... high-fat, excessive-protein, low-fiber, nutrient-deficient Keto! What? At least Keto advocates are transparent about their approach, no matter how much this diet does more harm than good in the long-term. Just sayin'...

 

Again, to be fair, there can be benefits to some aspects of some apps including Fast Easy. Yet, when they're offering diet and lifestyle advice from a position of authority, and some info is false and potentially harmful, well... that gets my red blood cells boiling. The worst part for me is seeing a gold stamp of approval from so-called nutritionists and dieticians (a classic example of accolades vs evidence). You see, conflicts of interest** partially exist within the institutions where nutritionists and dieticians train, because these hallowed halls receive sponsorship/support from influential giants like the National Dairy Council, National Confectioner's Association, National Cattleman's Beef Association, Kellogg's, Coca Cola and more. This isn't an all-good-all-bad point, but it does deserve serious scrutiny.

 

Heads Up: there are tons of options, so please put on your critical-thinking hat, do your research, try to tune out the misleading marketing circus, and go into the diet, health, and fitness app universe with your eyes wide open (BTW: I've had success with MyFitnessPalThe Daily Dozen, and Forks Over Knives apps). 

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