Worthwhile messages must be incessant

It is difficult to change attitudes. Well-meaning efforts to change hardened entrenched ones, if repeated one time too many, may even provoke an irate response (Bland food focus in push to eat healthier hard to stomach, by Ms Chu Pei Ling; Sept 11).

Good advice often falls on deaf ears. Reasons for it include an aversion to what is said and a fear of the inconvenience and sacrifice that change could bring.

The premise that telling people not to do or eat something will stop them from doing so is flawed, because adults are so set in their ways.

It does not help that the detrimental effects of an imbalanced and nutritionally defective diet can be seen only years down the road, when insidious pathology manifests.

Children, the next generation, who are more easily molded and receptive, must be the main focus of health campaigns.

One wishes that school children and younger adults, if not everyone, can be persuaded to try healthier diets, as beneficial effects are felt almost immediately.

Balanced wholesome diets sell themselves, as long as they are given a chance to take root.

It is untrue that the ill effects of a wanton diet - replete with creamy dairy products, deep fried and barbecued meat, soft drinks and excessive carbohydrates with their empty calories - can be mitigated by simply exercising all the toxins away.

All calories are not created equal. Calories derived from healthy food exert salutary physiological and hormonal changes on our metabolism, whereas unhealthy food could trigger inflammation, slow regeneration, encourage obesity and generate cancer.

Eat the wrong food and we will crash our metabolism. One cannot even exercise in peak form while harmful ingredients are used for substrates.

Yes, the message is incessant, but it has good reason to be.

We are what we eat, so unless we obsess over our diet and continuously emphasise how good healthy food fortifies our bodies, we are destined for a life wracked by illness, or an early burial.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)