Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.” Much the same may be said about health, at least for many people. Despite the concerns we express about our health and the wishes we extend for the good health of others, many of us do little or nothing to achieve it. To numerous people good health represents a blessing and poor health a misfortune, but it is all a matter of chance, perhaps of fate. That there is a role for the individual and that we can influence these matters is somehow not perceived, or often simply not acknowledged.
Ironically, while one part of society virtually ignores health, another segment pursues a variety of controversial concepts with fanatical fervor, all in the name of health. This latter group would never be accused of a lack of concern, but they might well be criticized for their lack of good judgment. At any rate, it would be difficult to determine which pattern is responsible for more ill health, the attitude of apathy toward health or the advocacy of ill-founded notions.
The perspective of this book is that health is not so much a condition as it is a process. Health reflects an attitude, as well as a course of action, toward being well. Health is a dynamic phenomenon, an ongoing process. We are healthy and living as we continue to pursue a style of life that promotes health. It is a day-to-day, decision-making process. But the decisions that we make, the course of action that we follow, must be based upon a body of knowledge. The foundation of the process, therefore, becomes the obtaining of verified information that provides a legitimate basis for the decision-making process. In determining the acceptability of information, a sense of judgment and discretion must be employed in order to distinguish the valid from the debatable or unfounded. A skeptical attitude that places the burden of proof upon the proponent of a health-directed concept serves as a defense against exploitive and harmful practices.