The challenges of following a healthy diet plan.
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The challenges of following a healthy diet plan.

A Challenge to your healthy diet plan.

14 Sep The challenges of following a healthy diet plan.

So you’ve found your healthy diet plan, you’ve mustered up the motivation, you have a supporting family around you and all your friends are on board and ready to encourage you. This sounds like the perfect situation for dieting and it is, but even if we have all this in place (which is not easy) we still have the food industry constantly nudging us back the wrong way. Every day we face the challenge of the nudge in the wrong direction, the battle is on.

Nudge Theory.

Ever heard of nudge theory? Nudge theory is a concept in behavioural science and political theory that argues that positive reinforcement and suggestion can achieve non-forced compliance of individuals and groups. At the heart of nudge theory is the concept of nudge, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein originally coined this term in their 2008 book, Nudge. They state that: “To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap. Nudges are not mandates. Putting fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not.” They state of how a simple nudge can go a long way to influencing people to do things without compromising free choice.

What you may or may not know is that these nudges are now pretty much the standard tool for anyone trying to push something on to us, good or bad. We are completely surrounded by them, so much so it’s a wonder we even know what our own real choices are nowadays. Every shop, petrol station and supermarket counter you will now find chocolate placed strategically so that you can’t leave there without at least thinking about choosing a bar for the way home. At the petrol stations you can now even get money off your petrol if you buy chocolate or fizzy drinks they are trying to push. If you fill a big enough tank of fuel you can actually get them free, why would you not do that? This is an attempt to keep you hooked on sugar, which just keeps the junk food wheel turning day in day out relentlessly!

Free food and money back!

Take a good look at the featured image at the top of this page. As you can see if you buy 2 of the selected products you can get 5p a litre off your fuel. A full tank in my car is around 60 litres. 60x5p= £3. This basically pays for the junk food that is on offer, if you have an even bigger tank than mine you will probably get money back too. Free food and money back, bargain! What you may not be thinking at that moment though is that this purchase is going to completely De-De-rail all of your healthy diet plans.

Unfortunately these nudges are an unstoppable force due to the theory actually apparently not infringing on our free choice. If the government step in and ban the chocolate at food counters or freebies with our fuel then they are the bad guy, infringing on our freedom.

Well ok then so what? Isn’t all of this just stating the obvious? Yes, but maybe it’s all a bit too obvious and many of us just going about our daily routines don’t think about it anymore! Make a stand; keep your eyes open to the diet opposition. Don’t take the free food unless they are giving away water. Ignore the chocolate laden checkouts and just be ready for the challenges to being healthy.

References:

Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. R. (2008). Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Yale University Press.

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