Buyer Beware:If it’s too good to be true, leave it on the shelf.

Last week I read an article in the newspaper that made me strut around the house yelling “ AT LAST”!
What brought me to such a euphoric state? Well it wasn’t the discovery of a drug for woman comparable to Viagra, but rather an announcement that the FDA made that they were going to take a far more aggressive role over deceptive ad practices.
One of their first targets is the worlds’ biggest yogurt maker Dannon, who agreed to pay a $21million fine and stop making exaggerated health claims for two popular Dannon products. Marion Nestle, a New York University nutritionist stated that “The claims aren’t about health, they’re about marketing”. DUH! I’ve been ranting about how absurd the notion that a food product has been developed with so many magical health properties for years.
Activia is supposed to cure “irregularity” which is the latest problem that seems to effect a great majority of Americans. It used to be called constipation, but I guess that’s too harsh a word. When did this start and why are so many afflicted with this problem, and why do they have to buy a specific product for their situation?
Well it sells because it contains probiotics, a beneficial bacteria for the colon, but so do most yogurts. It also contains 19 grams of sugar which means it has it has over four teaspoons in a four ounce container. Aren’t we supposed to be more aware of sugar content? So now you become regular but you get diabetes? Makes sense to me.
What about beans? Lots of fiber and cheap. I just got five 15 ounce cans for 4 dollars. We all know about the power of the bean, yet there are no cutesy commercials touting their benefits with a movie star as a spokesperson sharing the great outcome they got from eating beans. There’s not even an animated bean dressed in spandex jeans circling around a group of constipated adults sharing the latest research on beans and their benefits.
Do you think lifestyle might have an impact on irregularity, like lack of exercise, very little sleep and too much stress? When you’re stressed out your intestines suffer big time. It’s hard to get anything to pass through.
Aside from the above, the most important message we should take away from the latest food fiasco is “buyer beware”. If it’s too good to be true, leave it on the shelf.

Fast Living

We live in a world where everyone expects things to come quickly and easily. God forbid we should have to wait a few extra minutes for a cup of coffee or have to put up with traffic. Fast-food restaurants have become a metaphor for life: Get it fast and easy! It just may well be that as we’ve gone down this road, we’ve lost something along the way.

 Consider the following startling facts:

*Rates of depression have risen in recent decades, at the same time that people are enjoying time-saving conveniences such as microwave ovens, e-mail, prepared meals, and machines for washing clothes and moving lawns.

* People of earlier generations, whose lives were characterized by greater efforts just to survive, paradoxically, were mentally healthier. (Our) human ancestors also evolved in conditions where hard physical work was necessary to thrive.

 * By denying our brains the rewards that come from anticipating and executing complex tasks with our hands…we undercut our mental well being. (Scientific American Mind ).

Evidently, we’d feel a deep sense of satisfaction when true physical and mental effort produces something tangible. The newer generations have tried very hard to create atmospheres and situations that are comfortable and rewarding. Much of that mindset has produced individuals who “want what they want, when they want it”. Losing weight should be instant, therefore we want our food in boxes or cans that are so-called easy weight loss plans.

Finding a mate has boiled down to five minute lunch dates. You sit with someone for a few minutes and are supposed to gauge whether they might fit your criteria. Children are supposed to be rewarded for just showing up at a sports activity, even if they haven’t any skills. Sadly it is creating a society that will not have a lot of resiliency which comes essentially from hard work and having to put up with situations you’re not in the mood for. Studies in longevity consistently point out that those who reach one hundred have been through hard times, and were able to adapt to those situations. Maybe the real success in staying well mentally and physically is in discovering that the mind and body like effort. Perhaps that’s what makes us thrive and survive!