What did 2017 Teach Us?

The year 2017 is now consigned to history. What were the key lessons we learnt from it?  Perhaps the most significant myth that has been put to rest is that “fat makes you fat.” The truth is that all food can make you fat, it is actually the the quantity and quality that matters. In fact, fat is essential as many of the vitamins can only be digested when you also consume fat, vitamin D for example. Next, we saw a surge in the number of people who realized that empty calories such as sugar could be extremely harmful to one’s health. In a study conducted at the University of Michigan, my alma mater, researchers found that up to 40% of the food we ate could contain empty calories including ketchup, sausage, and ice cream. People also realized that sugar does not mean the sugar we add to our tea alone, which is nothing but empty calories, but also various types of foods we consume including white flour or potatoes. Many of us are now switching to healthier alternatives such as millets or sweet potatoes and adding fiber to our diet.

The fitness tracker craze took over the world with more fitness trackers sold than ever before with over 100 million wristwatches sold globally. From the Apple Watch to the Garmin Fenix 5 and from the Samsung Gear S3, we ran, swam, hiked and cycled our way to a healthier heart, lungs, and muscles. If that was not enough, we tracked what we ate on myfitnesspal, and people’s claim to fame rested on their resting heartbeat.

Hopefully, 2017 saw many, especially those above thirty, discover that our growing years were spent on somewhat inaccurate and worse misleading information about health and lifestyle. The proof of the pudding was in the fact that India has suddenly become the diabetes capital of the world. Hopefully 2018 will accelerate this trend toward good health.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.