I'm no expert about general health, including the sub-topics of diet, exercise, and medical knowledge, but I don't need to be to notice that expert advice in those areas has changed wildly over the decades of my life. Things like dietary cholesterol, low fat diets, trans-fats, the food pyramid, weight-training and muscle, supplements, screening for cancer, and on and on and on and...
While not an expert about general health, I am the world's expert regarding the care and feeding of Bret. Over the decades I've become much more knowledgeable about taking care of myself, mostly through trying to make sense of all the information out there, but also trying various approaches in the diet and exercise realm (consciously being my own lab rat), and being an unwitting lab rat due to external factors (trans-fats, for example).
What's fascinated me about the whole topic is how Americans have collectively made stunningly bad decisions about how to take care of ourselves and that will be the main focus of this series of posts - how interactions of people, groups, and scientific and medical knowledge (or distortions thereof) caused us to collectively make astoundingly stupid decisions about taking care of ourselves. How a country as rich and technologically advanced as we are ends up with a life expectancy ranked below those bastions of model societies such as Columbia and Cuba. How we managed to spend more than $1 trillion (that's $1,000,000,000,000) on our National Institute of Health over the last several decades yet aren't noticeably more healthy than Slovenia or even Mexico (in terms of life-expectancy).
The next post in this series will take a look at cholesterol and how we pretty much managed to completely confuse ourselves about cause and effect. It's a good introduction to this general topic in that it sheds light upon the problems of having large diversity in a population of very complex organisms and trying to figure out what sorts of things can help that population.