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I’m guessing your social media feeds look like mine: a disorienting smorgasbord of political rants, cute photos of friends’ children (my favorite), talk-show hosts’ takes on the cultural issue du jour, and envy-inducing travel updates. The most bizarre to me, though, is an increasing number of posts from well-meaning friends and acquaintances that offer health advice. Often, they link to stories that are quick to make you think—for perhaps an unreasonably long time—about the bacteria in your gut or cause you to worry about whether that candy bar you ate last night is going to give you cancer. (“Sugar Produces Cancer Cells” proclaimed an article that popped up in my feed not long ago. The author’s interpretation of the science was reductionist, at best.)
In a year when fake news made headlines, sensational health reporting—from bogus sources and some traditionally reliable ones—also seems to be on the rise. Stories overstate scientific conclusions, suggesting that one bad health decision will lead to your inevitable demise. (Red wine isn’t good for you after all! Low-carb diets destroy your memory!) Bad information worms its way into our social networks and our minds—and then influences our decisions and behaviors.
All of this hullabaloo makes me even more passionate about producing 5280 Health each year. It’s written by diligent and careful reporters, fact-checked down to the letter, and edited with an eye toward helping you take action to enhance your well-being. Consider writer Joe Lindsey’s “Secondary Trauma,” about the rise of health care advocates who help patients navigate the “massive, intricate, and sometimes dysfunctional health care system,” as Lindsey describes it. Or take a peek at “Trending Up,” in which we look at the next wave of fitness, nutrition, and wellness crazes headed to Colorado this year.
And for examples of how tech can be used for good (instead of panic-mongering), skip your Facebook feed and turn straight to “iHealth.”. Digital health is a broad and ever-growing field that brings together tech innovators, online platforms, and health care providers to deliver better care at a lower cost. Denver’s slice of this sector is growing rapidly, and our story delves into everything from the apps you can use to boost your fitness to the innovators whose work is reshaping the whole health care industry.
For many of us, the new year is a time to reboot our commitment to taking care of ourselves: mind, body, and spirit. My hope is that 5280 Health will support you—with clear, reliable information—in that important pursuit.