[ExI] Beware of thy diet...

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 4 14:01:30 UTC 2010

2010/12/3 Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl>
> [**] I wonder, how much truth is in this statement? Usians, do you really
> not get lectioned about how healthy it is to eat five-a-day? I hear it at
> least once a year and I think I would hear more of it, had I watched more
> "healthy style for dummies" TV.

Amidst all the other marketing noise, it's hard to know if the
five-a-day is particularly strong.  The company that makes V8 has a
product that incorporates a large percentage of fruit juice to "hide"
the taste of a large amount of vegetable juice.  They're actively
promoting that their product provides 3 of your 5 servings in an easy
to drink beverage.  At the same time, the company that makes Nutella
(the imported Hazelnut chocolate spread) is advertising it as a way to
trick children into eating bread.  ... because children have a
long-standing hatred of bread?!?   They try to convince moms that it's
made with "healthy" hazelnuts and chocolate has antioxidants, so
that's good for you too, right?

No doubt if we were in public school (or involved with the care and
feeding of children) we would be seeing food guide pyramids and
5-a-day posters.  The latest food pyramid I've seen shows 5 triangular
slices of an equilateral triangle such that it is almost impossible to
visually compare the area of each slice since none of the angles are
similar and the "top" of each slice vanishes into a single point.  It
really is a terrible infographic. (http://tinyurl.com/2azlpjk)

Far more invasive are the anti-smoking efforts.  For a while it was
merely the surgeon general warning that smoking may cause cancer.
Then it was active promotion.  Now cigarette ads must contain a very
large warning that product use has ugly side effects.  For the last
2-3 years my employer has been offering smoking cessation classes for
free (paid for by our health insurance provider)  This year we are
required to contractually affirm that we do not use tobacco or live in
a house with a tobacco user - otherwise we incur a tobacco usage
surcharge on our healthcare premium.  I get it, smoking is public
enemy #1 - but i think it sets a dangerous precedent.  Soon we'll be
swearing that we don't eat fast food more than twice a month, or that
we consistently eat the government-recommended 5 servings of veg else
we must pay for our own healthcare offset.  "I'm sorry, you are either
a fan of extreme sports or a completely sedentary couch commander -
same healthcare surcharge in both cases"

But we absolutely can not be responsible for ourselves.  It's good
that the guh'mint takes such care of us.

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