Profit versus science: random thoughts on the fitness industry's downfalls
Updated: Jul 21
I've been thinking about the obvious fact that the fitness industry is inherently for-profit, which can directly conflict with presenting info that’s scientifically accurate.
Some random thoughts, in no particular order:
Fitness professionals far too often capitalize on the fact that we humans are impatient and want results as soon as possible. That’s setting up our clients for failure right from the start.
Social media is how many of us consume our fitness, nutrition, and health information. Unfortunately, it’s essentially a highlight reel and will never be an accurate representation of someone’s life.
Actual, tried-’n’-true things that work based on science (consistency, moderation, hard work, building habits) are not ‘sexy’ and don’t sell.
Number of social media followers does not correlate with fitness/nutrition qualifications, ability to think critically, or ability to accurately represent scientific truths.
We come into contact *far* more often with paid (and thus biased) advertising, compared to legit empirical research results.
The way most of us learn about new research is through media channels, which often misinterpret said research either unintentionally, or in the name of simplification and getting readers/viewers.
While we’re on the topic of ways the fitness industry doesn’t work well, what about the fact that the business model of most commercial gyms is based on their members not showing up? How f*cked up is that?
Anyway, there are definitely some ways our industry seems to be moving forward, but there’s still a lot of work left to be done. We humans really do want the easiest, fastest route. But we gotta learn to be skeptical. We need to learn that there will never be a “magic pill” that replaces hard work. We need more evidence-based professionals who value rational thought. We need to represent all body types and celebrate the fact that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. And we need to call out bullshit when we see it!
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