Beware The Media

Today, I’m going to talk to you about the mainstream media, and the role it plays, particularly in the health and fitness industry. Now, first things first, it’s not all bad. I’ve found a lot of good, intelligent people to follow and learn from through the media, but then again, I have the time and inclination to research what they’re saying, and verify them. Frankly it’s a mess.

There’s so much out there, so many people saying so many different things, it’s hard to work out what’s useful and legitimate, and what isn’t. The main thing to understand is that the primary aim of the media is to grab your attention. They need your clicks and views, they need you to buy their paper. Unfortunately, that often comes in the form of shock headlines, many of which aren’t even a true representation of what the article or research is actually saying. The classic is X causes cancer. So, the number one rule is to not take things at face value, don’t just trust the headline.

Rule number two is read the full article, or watch the full piece. This will obviously give you a better idea. Does the headline appropriately sum up the article? Is the article backed up by statistics, data, science? Is this data from peer reviewed meta-studies? Or is it a study about the benefits of detoxing, funded by Detox4U? Is the data a fair representation of the study, or has it been cherry-picked just for the purpose of the piece? It sounds like a lot, but most of this stuff should be pretty accessible from the article itself, otherwise those alarm bells should be ringing. If you can’t find it, or can’t be bothered to delve further, then maybe take the whole thing with a pinch of salt.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of integrity left in reporting these days. I may be unfairly generalising here, but it seems like the focus has certainly shifted away from finding the truth, to making as much money as possible. For example, I love Phil and Holly as much as the rest of you, but if I see one more nonsense report on This Morning, that is clearly designed to just grab attention rather than report any truth whatsoever, I’m going to tear my hair out. Those idiotic celebrity personal trainers they keep having on there, they’re just selling their way to do something, not the right way. And they’ll say whatever they have to to sell it. Things, by the way, they don’t even do or use themselves. The trainers or the presenters, so why are they promoting it?

You need to accept that a lot of what is being reported these days isn’t necessarily true, or at least not the whole truth, and a lot of it is designed to shock and scare you. Certainly the stuff that gets shared around social media. Once you do, hopefully it’ll encourage you to dig a little deeper, do your own research, and make your own mind up. See you again next week.

Dan Miller

Body Fuel Personal Fitness Trainer