Belief Fatigue

Reading Mummy’s post about the smoking expectant mothers in Scotland she justifiably comes to the conclusion that they continue to smoke throughout pregnancy not because they are stupid, or live on the moon (where I imagine it would be quite hard to smoke in any case) but because they are exercising their right to choose. She’s probably right, except…

Except every day I hear things like “Oh, it’s probably not that bad for you anyway” and “yeah but everything gives you cancer nowadays” and so on. I think people are just getting turned off by the constant drip drip of health warnings and “experts” with their “findings” and “new studies” that “have shown ” all manner of things that are going to kill you.
I mean, just look at the latest one: Not brushing twice a day will give you a heart attack. With experts giving out the kind of stories we use to scare children into doing what they should it shouldn’t be any surprise that people have stopped listening.

That’s without getting into all the other, non-health related stuff that’s been put out to scare us. Ice ages, global warming, terrorists, communists, scientologists, asteroids, comets and paedophiles: the scares are relentless and the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling… We’ve got Belief Fatigue (like Compassion Fatigue) and we’re just not listening anymore. Sorry.

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