Friday, March 11, 2011

Heirarchies for body and soul

We all have basic needs. Abraham Maslow (April 1st 1908 - June 8th 1970) was an influential and inspirational figure in the field of human psychology. In 1943 his hierarchy of needs was published in a paper entitled 'A theory of human motivation'. The hierarchy of needs forms a pyramid - much like the old style food pyramid - with the most basic needs forming the foundation of the pyramid.

Maslow says that we need each layer of the pyramid, in order, and that we will not progress to worrying about building the next layer before we have laid a solid foundation of the preceding layer.

Maslow's hierarchy builds as follows:
Our first and most basic needs are physiological : water, food, sleep, etc
The second level is concerned with safety : shelter, personal and family security, health, employment,etc
The third need is for love and a sense of belonging : family, friends
The fourth level is for esteem : respect for and of others, achievement, confidence
And the fifth level is self actualisation : morality, creativity, acceptance, altruism.

Now, if we could look at the food pyramid, and only help ourselves to the next food group once we have established a strong foundation of the preceding group on our plate, we would all be slimmer and healthier!
The layers in the old food pyramid, in case you have forgotten, build in this order, from the bottom up:
Grains and starches : Fruit and vegetables : Meats, beans, eggs and nuts : Dairy : Fats and sugars.
Recent research seems to indicate that the base of the pyramid should be fruits and vegetables, followed by grains and starches, and certainly this makes sense if you want to lose weight.

No comments: