Government-issued dietary guidelines are crafted using fancy statistical programming methods based upon an artefact known as an “average” or “normal” person. Finding trends in data sets may well be a really interesting academic exercise, but it is questionable whether the advice that’s generated out of it, and given to you in a handout, will actually make any difference to your health. According to this “one-size-fits-all” model of what constitutes “a healthy balanced diet”, everyone – regardless of sex, age, size, background, and family history – will benefit from these recommendations. Amazing, isn’t it. Shame this “perfect diet for everyone” doesn’t quite seem to do what its says on the tin. It is even questionable whether you are “average” or “normal”, a word towards which my feelings are probably unpublishable! On the other hand, according to a whole load of science that’s been published in the last 15 years, there may well be no such thing as an “average” or “normal” population with respect to requirements for basic nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, vitamins or minerals. What may be too little for you may be too much for someone else, and vice-versa. That’s why the only way to get nutrition advice right is by individualising it, so it fits you. Yes, some bits will be general and may apply to all, but most will be as unique as you are and will need reviewing as you age. Just like you wouldn’t buy an XXL shirt if you’re normally a size M. It’s simple, really.