The Wellness Industry: Is the negativity needed?

Mainstream media: we all try to avoid it, but sometimes you just can't help but want to hear the latest on the meaning behind Beyonce's Lemonade. Recently though, the headlines have caught our eye for another reason: it seems the 'wellness industry' is under fire. And being part of that industry, we were quite intrigued to see what they had to say - was it valid, did we agree, who and what were they targeting? So we've scrolled through the articles, analysed their argument and broken it down so that you don't have to.  

ONE: 'Everybody is endorsing a different diet'

As said by The Guardian 'some bloggers endorse juice fasts, whereas others scorn juice and compare its sugar content to Coca-Cola; some promote fasting, others advise against.'. Their argument being that with so many contradicting opinions, how can any of them be true? 

Our thoughts: The fact that there are so many different opinions within the health industry, is surely just backing up the well known fact that everyone is different - there is no one size fits all. And that's a big part of our philosophy: we'll never tell you what to eat, just the benefits of eating it, and is also why we have options covering such a broad range. Sure, juice fasts may work for one person, and a high fat diet the next. The great thing is, that with the boom in the health industry, we now have access to everything we'd need for all the different health choices.

TWO: 'Nobody is qualified to give this information, and are giving wrong information' 

As explained by both The Guardian and Vice, a lot of the online personalities are not actually qualified nutritionists, and shouldn't be advising others. To quote: “Personal experience in making a dietary change in your own life is not a qualification to advise others about nutrition". 

Our thoughts: We have to say, fair point mainstream media. We've noticed this ourselves, there are a lot of strong opinions online telling people how to eat, and it's not always a positive influence. That said, we can't think of any wellness brands who take this approach, with many (ourselves included) hiring qualified nutritionists to ensure the product they sell is actually doing what it says on the product. Also let's think about the various claims that large mainstream brands make about their products - surely that's the same as what's happening here? 

THREE: 'There's no need to cut out food groups' 

Apparently wellness influencers 'exploit the scientific ignorance of their followers' and cutting out food groups isn't at all necessary unless you have a diagnosed condition -  the alleged nefariousness of wheat and gluten being more trendy than true. 

Our thoughts: Maybe some journalists just haven't ever experienced gut problems? Lucky for them! Unfortunately for a lot of the public though, it's not all smooth sailing in that area. And although there may not be the research to prove it (because let's face it, conducting a life long study comparing healthy eating to the opposite doesn't exactly cover the 'human rights' section), the amount of people who have found that cutting out overly processed gluten, dairy and sugars from there diet helped them feel better is pretty high. Yes, maybe people aren't intolerant to gluten or dairy, but they're definitely not going to feel great after eating the processed and unnatural ingredients mostly found in gluten and dairy products nowadays, and if avoiding them helps avoid this, then we're all for it. 

 FOUR: 'It's encouraging food phobias and eating disorders' 

So they're not completely against a healthy food, maybe just the way that it's spoken about, discouraging the misinformation and the apparent encouragement of food phobias, quoting "After all, being obsessive about healthy eating isn’t actually all that healthy".

Our thoughts: The point they're trying to make is actually a really good one, it just maybe shouldn't be blamed on 'the wellness industry' alone. More and more so though, we've been seeing food associated with negativity and bad connotations. Food is never 'the devil', regardless of what it is, there are no 'good days' and 'bad days' and there's no such thing as a guilt free treat - all treats should be guilt free, whether it's made of super foods or butter. Yes of course we should eat majority natural, wholesome food, but if we do decide we want wine and pizza then there should never be guilt associated with it. Which is why we will always promote an 80/20 balance and ensure our products are delicious and enjoyable, not just healthy. 

VERDICT

I guess the only last thing we can say is don't bash it until you've tried it. I can't seem to think of anyone who has welcomed the rise of the wellness industry and healthy eating, and then decided to revert back to their previous lifestyle instead, and that alone says more than we ever could. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this too. Please do email kerry@pollenandgrace.com should you have any comments - it would be great to hear other opinions!  

Sources: 

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/ruby-tandoh-eat-clean-wellness http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jun/27/new-wellness-bloggers-food-drink-hadley-freeman