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The healthy claim to fame Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Raisa Bhuiyan, Canada Jun 5, 2010
Culture , Health   Opinions


The healthy claim to fame Picture, "Beyond the food you eat," by Souma Badombena Wanta

Just a glance at the re-vamped nature of the marketing strategies employed in grocery stores across North America is enough for one to become grossly aware that “being health-conscious” is the new big thing to infect popular consciousness. Whether it’s the belief that drinking green tea will increase the longevity of one’s life or the opinion of health professionals who advise the average person to consume eight glasses of water a day, it’s evident that health-consciousness is currently the obsession of the cultures of many countries.

Now more than ever, media outlets, hospitals and doctor’s offices are prescribing the latest treatments to individuals hoping to achieve the healthiest vessel of their dreams. From partaking in cleansing rituals to undergoing weight loss, it appears as though the ultimate end of human beings is being gradually re-routed towards achieving the best health possible. While being healthy is almost as entrenched into contemporary popular culture as a movie star’s concern with his/ her public image is, it’s interesting to note that this form of health-consciousness has yet to reach to the ears of many individuals south of the equator. Though maintaining the sustenance of one’s body is of almost paramount concern to many in the western world, in many other parts of the globe, health consciousness often translates into surviving on enough wholesome foods for the day.

The divergence in conceptual thinking on this issue is of interest to someone like myself: I was brought up and raised in the West have been trained to eat and live “smart”. “Smart” here applies directly to what I have been taught at various levels of schooling, which is to say living an active lifestyle where I would always be motivated to choose foods containing nutritional goodness over foods of pleasurable goodness.

After partaking in various trips to my home country of Bangladesh, what I often came to find was that eating “healthy” meant eating enough to induce a radiant glow in one’s skin. In Bangladesh, where much of citizenry lives below the poverty line, daily food sources are often as hard to come by as a four leaf clover with bright magenta flecks. This accords with the opinion of my own mother who, after being brought up in Bangladesh, thinks that the people in the west are “positively nuts” since all they care about, or at least all that the media makes them out to care about, is the maintenance of a healthy body. (This is precisely why there is neither margarine nor olive oil in my household, only pure butter and canola oil.)

Therein lies my question to all of you TIG users out there on the internet: is there more than just a conceptual divergence in the way people around the world think about health consciousness?



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Writer Profile
Raisa Bhuiyan

Hello everyone,

I became familiar with TakingItGlobal from a summer internship that I took on in early June of 2009. Being a undergraduate student who is very interested in global issues, the internship allowed me to learn and experience a great breadth of knowledge about online collaboration and social networking.

Im an avid reader of old english literature, and love writing short stories of the humourous variety in my spare time.

I can only hope that my panorama submissions measure up to the great works of my fellow writers.


Zainul Abedin | Jun 6th, 2010
Great hope and aspiration.

Zainul Abedin | Jun 6th, 2010
Raisa has posted a nice question.She may help the busy members by posting some workable and pragmatic health prescriptions that may be applicable for all communities across the globe.

We are what we eat!
Dr.Susan Sharma | Jun 12th, 2010
Most of us in India give the food we eat a lot of importance in keeping us healthy. Even basic health care is achieved by changing food habits/or eating herbs.

Henry Ekwuruke | Jun 29th, 2010
when we talk food, we tend to talk of some necessary good. The better the food, the better the health of any individual and nation. Better potential too.

Henry Ekwuruke | Jun 29th, 2010
when we talk food, we tend to talk of some necessary good. The better the food, the better the health of any individual and nation. Better potential too.

Raisa Bhuiyan | Jun 30th, 2010
Thanks for all the gracious comments to this post everyone. The changing nature of health consciousness in our contemporary context has been an issue that has perplexed me for a while, as there's always a new dietary fad that the media hails as the holy grail. I only hope that my post encourages more people to critically assess the food that they put into their bodies. Regards, raisa

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