Is There A Butterfly Effect?

The term “butterfly effect” was coined by meteorologist Edward Lorenz in a speech in 1972.  He discovered in the 1960’s that tiny, butterfly-scale changes to the starting point of his computer weather models resulted in anything from sunny skies to violent storms, with no way to predict in advance what the outcome might be.  So, potentially a butterfly flapping its’ wings in Brazil could create a tornado in Texas.

In 2004 a movie called “The Butterfly Effect” was released.  The science fiction thriller starred Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart, and the story was about a college student that was able to come back in time and change certain events that transpired in his life.  However, in doing so, major changes occurred in the future due to the small events he had changed.  Good movie…if you have not seen it, check it out sometime.

This entry will not be about the nutritional content of ingesting butterflies.  However, the focus of this blog is to discuss how relatively small changes in our behaviors can dramatically impact future health events.  For example, a relatively simple change of ingesting 50% less alcohol than the “usual” will, over time, result in better weight control, a healthier liver, more energy to exercise etc.  These will result in a much better chance of avoiding a serious health issue in the future.  Along the same line of thinking, a small change such as not snacking on carbs and high sugar “treats” after 8 PM will have similar beneficial health impacts that could help avoid a catastrophic health event.

So, take a step back and analyze what “small” changes you can make now that will not disrupt your life in any major way, yet, cumulatively over time, could impact your health for the better in a major way in the future.

Thus, the answer to the question posed in this blog entry: YES, there is a “Butterfly Effect” applicable to the healthcare arena.  Start flapping your wings NOW!

Enjoy Mariah Carey’s song, “Butterfly”