Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

What if Diet Books Had to Be Truthful?

May 21, 2020 — Some things, it seems, never change. Even, and perhaps especially, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, magical thinking about nutrition and diets persist. So publishers feed us a steady diet of diet books. More than most, Dr. Michael Greger has captured the purest essence of this genre in his bestselling book: How Not to […]

Real Money, Imaginary Benefits of Supplements for Diabetes

May 4, 2020 — We’re learning a lot about health scams. When people feel scared and desperate, promises of a “game-changer” for a dread disease (e.g., COVID-19) can arouse passions. But an objective look at actual evidence brings the truth into view. Then the scam becomes a mess for people who fell for it. That experience should be instructive […]

A Coronavirus Boost for Ultra-Processed Foods?

April 8, 2020 — Is the coronavirus pandemic giving a boost to ultra-processed foods? Maybe. In any event, it’s an appealing narrative. We’re all a little tired of reading about issues of life or death and confinement. So lighter stories about how people are chowing down on Chef Boyardee Beefaroni are welcome relief. But it’s worth noting that these […]

Pandemic Wellness: Pampered, Sheltered, or Shafted?

April 7, 2020 — We’re seeing a weird mashup of pandemic wellness. At one end of the spectrum, wellness entrepreneurs are making smooth pitches to soothe pampered souls who see this whole coronavirus thing as a disturbing nuisance. A disruption in their carefully curated lives. Then, we also glimpse the frantic professional class trying to cope with daycare that […]

Chow Down to Boost Your Immune System?

April 4, 2020 — Lies are convenient when the truth is unpleasant. Right now, we’re faced with a number of unpleasant truths, so lies are popping up like springtime flowers. The virus that’s plaguing us will “miraculously” disappear, says a politician. “Stock up on these nine healthy foods to boost your immune system,” says CNBC. Unfortunately, both of those […]

Pseudoscience in the Midst of a Pandemic

March 18, 2020 — A public health emergency can have an unfortunate side effect. With the coronavirus pandemic, pseudoscience, quackery, and fraud are emerging, too. Diets and supplements to “boost” your immune system are a common form of this fraud. Honestly, sometimes this sort of misinformation flies under the radar of normally discerning people. But we praise Dietitians of […]

Meat Sticks Rise from Junk Food to Foodie Food Health Food

February 22, 2020 — Food and health fashion never ceases to amaze. Remember Slim Jims? Those processed meat sticks, shelf-stable forever, that people used to buy out of desperation at a convenience store? Well, suddenly they’re trendy and you can even buy upscale, grass-fed versions. We never would have guessed that processed meat sticks could become health food. A […]

The Evolution of an Obesogenic Food Supply

February 17, 2020 — Why do we have so much obesity? One possible answer is evolution. By this, we don’t mean human evolution. Rather, we mean commercial evolution – of an obesogenic food supply. Many have suggested that the problem lies with addictive foods. Michael Moss tells a slick story about the evil food industry engineering hyperpalatable food that […]

Permanent Weight Loss Puffery

February 2, 2020 — We’re nearing the end of diet season, but permanent weight loss puffery isn’t going anywhere. It used to be that promising permanent weight loss would land you in trouble with the FTC. But somehow, the upstart Noom is making a business of it. Much to the dismay of WW International (formerly Weight Watchers), the Noom […]

Alternatives to the January Fitness Scam

January 15, 2020 — This is the prime season for the fitness industry. January is the biggest month of the year for new memberships. But 80 percent of those new members will quit within five months. And the steady members don’t like it. Things get crowded, people get cranky. Nonetheless, January fitness money talks. What’s can a fitness business […]