Ten guidelines for a healthy life: Korean Medical Association statement (2017).
December 15, 2017 148 p (in English)

Review and Recommendation

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It is no exaggeration to say that we are flooded by false health information coming from unidentifiable sources these days. Unverified health-related information, and even false information, is deceitfully fabricated by the press and media, professional organizations, and patient groups, and is circulated through platforms such as social media and Internet forums.

Imprecise or distorted information can cause devastating side effects. It is especially important to take extra precautions regarding the harmful effects of false information regarding health.

When false health information is understood as factual, it both harms health on the individual level and can also have a negative effect on family members, the community, and even the medical field itself. The most important concern is when a patient is deceived by false health information and the trust between the patient and doctor is broken. This can lead to serious problems for public health throughout the nation. The “Anaki” (Korean acronym for ‘raising a child without medicine’) online community has emerged as a recent social issue, and is an example that demonstrates the seriousness of false health information and its implications.

The Korean Medical Association has aptly announced the publication of “Ten guidelines for a healthy life: Korean Medical Association statement (2017).” This work contains the ‘10 commandments’ necessary for a healthy lifestyle at a time when it is most needed. There is no need to emphasize how well timed the announcement was.

The dictionary definition of “declaration” is “a formal statement of policies or stance to the public by a nation or organization.” A declaration commonly includes a resolution or statement of volition for accomplishing a certain objective. Considering this fact, “Ten guidelines for a healthy life: Korean Medical Association statement (2017)” summarizes the essential health practices that the Korean Medical Association strongly recommends the public to follow.

When I was asked to write a review and recommendation for this book, I carefully reviewed the guidelines and the authors included in this statement based on my career as an experienced reporter in the field of health. I also participated, from the very beginning to the end, in the yearlong production process that included numerous meetings and brainstorming with many professionals.

With this background in mind, I would like to emphasize that “Ten guidelines for a healthy life: Korean Medical Association statement (2017)” is the fruit of hard work by medical professionals who wish to continue to build a trustful relationship with the public.

Most credible is the reliability of each and every word in the guidelines, which can be supported by clinical and scientific evidence. I was also informed by the professionals who participated in the writing of the statement that any information that could possibly be considered controversial or insufficiently established was excluded from the guidelines.

Now it is the public’s turn to make a difference. No matter how good the suggestions are, if the Korean public does not accept them and follow through with them, they become useless. I, myself, will start to practice the 10 guidelines with my family. I hope that “Ten guidelines for a healthy life: Korean Medical Association statement (2017)” will reestablish the trust between physicians and the public and become the new cornerstone of public health for the nation.

Kilwon Kim

Medical Reporter, Yonhapnews Agency

(Served as Acting President of Korean Science Reporter Association)