Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Tripping Over Baby Steps

Of course, not everyone is certain that baby steps can walk you all the way to good health. Marc Siegel, MD, a clinical associate professor at the NYU School of Medicine, says that while doing something is certainly better than doing nothing, making such small changes is like using a Band-aid to stop a hemorrhage.
"It's a small, gimmicky idea to target people with very unhealthy lifestyles, and for some it may be useful," says Siegel, author of False Alarm: the Truth about the Epidemic of Fear. But he fears that for most people, it's sending the wrong message.
"In some ways it's a resignation, an admission that things can't be changed -- and that's certainly not the long-term answer," Siegel tells WebMD.
Katz concedes that the Stealth Health approach may not be right for everybody.
"There is a trade-off because if you try to make the pursuit of health easier for people, you run the risk of leading them to believe they don't need to do very much -- and that would be the wrong message," he says.
At the same time, Katz believes that for those who find making health changes a daunting task, Stealth Health techniques can make a difference.
"If you want the really big gains, there has to be some pain," says Katz. "But there is a lot to be said for the idea that you can make some gains with little or no pain, and that's infinitely better than no gains."

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