Dr Libby to speak in Timaru and help answer a common question: 'what am I supposed to eat?'
"You are worth taking care of."
So says author Dr Libby Weaver, who will speak in Timaru on Friday as part of her tour for her newest book What Am I Supposed To Eat?
When asked if there was one simple change everyone could make to improve their diet, she said it would be "to know you are worth taking care of".
"Our behaviour is the expressions of belief that we have about ourselves," she said.
Food played a significant role in mental health and "robust" studies demonstrated a diet's effect on people with different conditions. Changing to a "whole food" way of eating had an effect on symptoms.
"It's not the answer for everyone ... but certainly there is some strong research showing that it can make a difference to a lot of people who have particular mental health challenges."
Broadly, many people knew they were supposed to eat a minimum of three pieces of fruit and vegetables each day, but didn't.
She said she could talk to people until she was "blue in the face" and guide them towards the foods they should eat, but they wouldn't do it unless they believed they were worth it.
"If I was to ask someone to name all of the things they love, I always wonder how long it would take for them to name themselves."
This was her 20th year speaking to audiences and providing health advice.
Her book What am I Supposed to Eat? came about as it was the question she has been asked with more frequently in recent years.
"It's really increased in the last sort of 4 - 5 years, is when I've really noticed it."
People will ask what sort of oil they should cook with, how much avocado should they eat, or if they should eat high amounts of carbs or low amounts of carbs, she said.
She believed people were more confused about what to eat nowadays as a result of there being a lot more information readily available to them.
"Not that long ago the only place we really went for information was the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
"Whereas now if you Google 'what am I supposed to eat you get about two and a half million different ideas."
Some of the results were wonderful, some dreadful, and a lot of them conflicted each other, she said.
Weaver would also question why people do what they do, when they know what they know.
A lack of education wasn't what led to people eating a whole bag of lollies, it was being driven by an emotional need, she said.
"They've got good knowledge but they just can't seem to apply it."
Weaver will speak at the Theatre Royal on Friday, October 13 from 7pm. Tickets are $39 and available from drlibby.com