We might have the best of intentions, but can we be a bit self-righteous, opinionated or disapproving about what someone else is eating?
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to food and nutrition, but many of us also seem to think that everyone else needs to hear, and agree with, our opinion and ultimately change their behavior as a result.
It can be as subtle as a disapproving glance at a friend or family member as they reach for something we know they “shouldn’t” have. It can be as unsettling as a comment from a stranger in the checkout line at the grocery store, or as mind-blowing as harsh words from social media trolls.
These comments can be annoyingly snarky at best and emotionally damaging at worst.
It happens to me. People are surprised – and on occasion, visibly disappointed – that I, a nutrition professional, would actually eat the bread from the bread basket at a restaurant. Or they’ve disagreed with my nutritional advice and email me to let me know that they are going to use my column to line the birdcage or cover the table at a crawfish boil.
Along with religion and politics, should we add nutrition to the list of thorny topics best avoided in polite company? If we cannot broach the topic with compassion, understanding and tolerance, then the answer is yes.
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