Magic health bullet

The perpetual quest for an easy way to stay young and healthy ignores a basic truth

Should everyone rely on finding a silver bullet solution to better health? Pawan Singh / The National
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Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to look fit, healthy and young without having to actually change the way we live our lives? The search for that elusive silver bullet has spawned an entire industry, ranging from possibly efficacious strategies to the equivalent of snake oil.

As we reported yesterday, one of the latest variations of this quest is manipulating the body's enteric nervous system to fool the brain into thinking the stomach is full before it actually is. It's similar for those who address wrinkles with Botox, demonstrating that injecting your face with paralysing poison is deemed to be better than actually adopting more health-conscious behaviour.

But isn’t it time we all actually took a more holistic view of this? There is more than just vanity – poor diet is strongly correlated with life-shortening illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. The simple truth is we should shun fast food for healthy options and get off the couch to do more exercise. That’s the real silver bullet.