Good for One Good for All
Oftentimes when a member of a family or household is diagnosed with a condition that requires dietary and lifestyle changes, everyone in the household makes an effort to ensure that the person with the diagnosis follows the guidelines necessary to maintain their health. However, the commitment to lead a healthier lifestyle oftentimes ends with the individual directly affected by the illness. This may be because other individuals in the household are not interested in making lifestyle adjustments, or it may simply be because it does not occur to those not directly affected that they too may benefit from making changes to their lifestyles too. However, there are many advantages to familial participation in the various medically-based diets. This is particularly true in the case of lifestyle related illnesses---that is, conditions caused by diet, lifestyle and behavior, such as hypertension, heart disease and Type II Diabetes. This is also the case in households where someone is affected by Type I Diabetes.
One benefit of familial participation in medically-advised dietary and lifestyle regimens is the support that it provides to the individual with the condition. Fewer temptations will be present in everyday circumstances as well as during family celebrations. In addition, observation of others’ commitment to the course can serve as motivation to the individual with the condition to remain committed to living healthfully as well.
There are also tangible benefits for the other members of the family as well. For example, adhering to portion size recommendations and nutritional guidelines for balance can help family members for whom weight is a problem, shed the extra pounds, or get a handle on their blood pressure or cholesterol levels. In addition, family members will learn the knowledge and practice the habits necessary to prevent the premature onset of illness. There are many benefits for supporting a family member with dietary and lifestyle restrictions. The key is simply to remember: good for one, good for all.