Who Decides What’s Healthy at a Health Resort?
Health resorts have philosophies? They sure do. Each has a general philosophy, or mission, of helping guests achieve better health and wellness. That’s all well and good. But it’s important to ask: Who at the resort is driving that philosophy? And, is everyone on board?
What’s the Health Resort’s Philosophy?
“Philosophy?” you may be thinking. “Health resorts have philosophies?”
They sure do. Each has a general philosophy of helping guests achieve better health and wellness, which often includes goals like losing weight and getting fit.
That’s all well and good. The concern is:
Who Decides What’s Healthy?
Is it the newly arrived chef at the health resort who decides that healthy food means entrees full of coconut oil?
Is it the nutritionist who has fallen passionately for gluten-free foods?
Is it the fitness director who believes that the only worthwhile exercise is crossfit-style workouts?
Is it the program director who, admirably, has an advanced degree in psychology but a personal vendetta against several relaxation techniques?
You see the problem. Whoever is driving the philosophy of the resort determines what happens at the resort, and that determines what happens to you.
There is one health resort in America that has never relied on individuals – and their idiosyncratic inclinations – to determine its philosophy.
That health resort is the Pritikin Longevity Center.
Pritikin Scientific Advisory Board
For more than four decades, the philosophy of Pritikin has been driven by its Scientific Advisory Board.
This Board is comprised of faculty at Pritikin, including physicians, registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and psychologists, as well as scientists from leading research universities nationwide.
Pritikin’s Scientific Advisory Board meets regularly to review research and trends in nutrition, fitness, and healthy lifestyle change. Together, its members determine what should be part of Pritikin’s recommendations, and what should not.
“Every single decision is based on science”
“Every single decision is based on science,” explains Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, Medical Director at Pritikin and member of the Scientific Advisory Board. “We didn’t jump on the juicing bandwagon. We didn’t embrace the gluten-free craze. We don’t sell protein powders. These fads may be popular. They may be what people are asking for. But there is little or no scientific proof they work.
“Put simply, everything we teach about healthy living at Pritikin is built on rock-solid research. We’re very proud of that,” sums up Dr. Fruge.
Is the Entire Staff Teaching the Health Resort’s Philosophy?
The second question to ask when selecting a health resort is:
“Is everyone on board? Is the entire staff teaching the same philosophy?”
After all, in this world of conflicting health advice, the last thing you want is more confusion.
But that’s exactly what happens at many health resorts. Fitness trainers, for instance, often have their own personal attitudes about food. One’s a Paleo diet enthusiast. Another sips smoothies all day long. Meanwhile, the dietitian at the same health resort tells you that both Paleo and smoothie diets are a waste of time. Oy vey.
At the Pritikin Longevity Center, “you not only get a philosophy that is agreed upon by everyone, you get everyone teaching that same philosophy,” explains Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition at Pritikin.
Fully Integrated Approach
“It is a fully integrated approach to healthy lifestyle change. The exercise instructors at Pritikin echo the doctors who echo the nutritionists who echo our lifestyle-change psychologists who echo our chefs in cooking school.
“At the end of each day, our guests are not scratching their heads wondering, ‘How do I mesh what he told me today with what she told me?’”
Instead, “there’s a sense of calm, a gratitude among our guests that we’re all singing the same song,” smiles Pritikin’s Chef and Cooking School Instructor Vince Della Polla.
Summing Up | Who Decides What’s Healthy at a Health Resort?
When looking for a health resort, make sure you ask: Who at that resort decides what’s healthy?
Look for a health resort that does not base its philosophy about health on individual whims, or fads.
Instead, look for a health resort that is built on science. What’s more, look for a health resort whose philosophy has been rigorously discussed and agreed upon by a team of well-respected health professionals.
“For more than 40 years, our guests at Pritikin have appreciated the hard work we put in behind the scenes. They appreciate our commitment to a curriculum that has been fully vetted by science, and our teamwork in teaching that curriculum,” sums up Dr. Fruge.
“And they certainly appreciate the results they get. The benefits of the Pritikin Program for the prevention and control of major health concerns like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and excess weight have been scientifically documented in more than 100 studies published in peer-reviewed journals.
“Bottom line, what to look for in a health resort has been happening here at Pritikin since 1975. It’s special. I don’t think you can find it anywhere else.”