Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Popular “Health” Magazines Aren’t Always Focused on Health

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I was flipping through a “health” magazine today just to check it out. I put health in quotes because even though it appeared to be about health, I found much of its contents misleading, wrong, and not so healthy.

The Picture Shows One Thing, The Words Say Another.

I will use just one article as an example of misleading information. The photo showed bowls of whole grains. I thought, “Great! People need to know more about whole grains, what they are, why they are good, and how to prepare them.” But once I started reading the article, it fell flat of my expectations, and that’s putting it lightly. It gave a few benefits of eating whole grains, and then went into giving supposedly “healthy” “whole grain” recipes. The article didn’t even name any whole grains — not even labeling the bowls of whole grains in their photo. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if the author didn’t even know what they were! The article didn’t give examples of whole grains, where to buy them nor how to prepare them. What it did give were some weird recipes using processed products, such as stale bread and toaster waffles which were supposed to be the “whole grains” in the recipes. To be blunt, in my opinion that’s pretty lame. The crazy thing is, some of the ingredients in their recipes actually contribute to the ailments that they insinuated whole grains prevented. Plus, the ingredients that they combined actually hinders digestion, which causes fatigue, contributes to other health issues, and slows metabolism.

It’s About Making Money, Not Health.

As far as the magazine went, it seemed it was all about weight loss, vanity, fear (reducing it or building confidence) and pain reduction, plus unrelated stuff such as entertainment and celebrities. “Ingenious!” I thought. “What a great way to make money!” If you look at the number of people that want to lose weight, look good, get over fear, rid themselves of pain, and lose themselves in someone else’s life, it’s enormous! So basically, they are just tapping into a huge market. The problem is, the info they are giving isn’t always on the mark. And in some cases, it’s just downright wrong. It makes me wonder… Do they really even care about health?

How to Check the Integrity of a Health Magazine.

  • Look at the advertisers and how many ads are in the magazine. Are the ads for healthy products? Are the products even health related? In this magazine, 54 of the 150 pages were for advertising. That doesn’t count the articles on products that the magazine was promoting. You can add a few more pages for those. That’s a lot of ads! Of those 54 pages, only 14 of the ads were health related. What’s worse is some of the ads promoted blatantly unhealthy products, such as processed food, alcohol, and junk food. The funny thing I noticed is that some of the ads that were for non-health related products, disguised their ads with healthy imagery — such as someone doing yoga — in a car ad.
  • How healthy are the articles? Are they about health or vanity (for example, weight loss)? Are they even health related? Are they about eating processed foods full of artificial sweeteners and/or preservatives just for the sake of cutting calories? Who is writing the article? What’s his/her background or qualifications? If the magazine contains articles about flat abs, good sex, losing weight and celebrity diets, be skeptical of its integrity.
  • What is the magazine’s price? You may not have thought about it, but like most things, you get what you pay for. If the cost is pretty low, most likely content is influenced by the advertisers.

I Leave You with This:

Weight loss doesn’t always equal good health (Obviously, you can look at cancer patients, drug addicts, the malnutritioned, and those with eating disorders to know this). Looking good doesn’t always equal good health (Why do seemingly healthy top athletes get diseases such as cancer?). Not having pain does not always equal good health (you can take a pain medication and be free of pain) — and so on. BUT, it does work the other way around — if you are healthy, those things I just listed, and then some, usually fall into place. Start thinking about getting healthy so you live a good, long, energetic life. Think about what you are eating and where it comes from, rather than how many calories it contains. Everybody is different, but we all need nutritious whole food, clean water and exercise to be healthy.

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