Knowledge Is Power

Over the past few years, I have become interested in educating myself on nutrition and healthy living, and in my career, I hope to help others to live a balanced lifestyle.  I was reading this article about a study that suggests that eating a big breakfast is not correlated with lower overall daily caloric intake– and the article author makes the inference that breakfast really is not important.  Usually dieticians and health professionals are supportive of eating a healthy, balanced breakfast every day for reasons such as jumpstarting metabolism and keeping blood sugar levels stable (nutrition tip for the day), so I was a little wary when I read about this new study.

This post is not about how to eat healthy, but instead I wanted to touch on the importance of educating people on critical thinking.  In class, we discussed the education system and the various rights and responsibilities associated with this social cooperation.  In school, students should have the right to be taught to be critical consumers of research and media.  There is an immense amount of information available, especially with access to the Internet.  Among all of the facts, opinions, and claims, the truth can be lost.  Teaching individuals to think critically about the message being presented can help them to understand the situation, the effects it has on their lives, and the course of action that will be most beneficial.

Back to the article: the way the results are presented makes the conclusion seem plausible.  However, if one was to consider the information thoughtfully, he or she might find the researchers’ thought process illogical.  The author of this NY Times blog entry is not even a registered dietician or health professional but a writer.  Just as we are supposed to know who the author of our weekly class reading is, it is also important to learn more about the source of information that we take in on a daily basis.  Critical thinking is an important skill to learn because it is applicable in everyday life and can influence decisions that have a great effect on a person’s situation.

Whether it is education plans, health care, or even what to make for dinner, the decisions we make are important and require some level of information processing.  Teaching people from a young age to think critically about decisions and information can help create a more educated society and hopefully a healthier one.  From the viewpoint of a busy college student, I understand that sometimes it seems like the best plan to go with the “easiest” decision.  However, if we always did that, then as long as our own needs were met, we would not care that there is inequality in education opportunities, that people go without clean water and nutritious food, and that some do not have access to proper health care and resources.  Being educated means we have the responsibility to use knowledge not only to find solutions to various societal problems, but also to educate others on the principles of critical thinking.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Knowledge Is Power

  1. Amanda,

    You are right on with this. Thinking critically is maybe the greatest talent we can develop as college students. It is at times difficult, and articles that do not require critical thinking are often easy to consume. That being said, I am left wondering how we develop critical thinking in people. How can one show the benefits of critical thinking? Is there a set protocol to critically think?

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