June 11, 2014

ONLY ORDINARY PEOPLE HAVE ORDINARY DIETS:

 Excuse me, is that snake oil gluten-free? (Lynn Stuart Parramore, JUNE 11, 2014, Reuters)


Comedian Jimmy Kimmel recently featured a sketch asking health-conscious folks avoiding gluten what gluten actually is. They had no idea.

What we think we know about nutrition is often based on tenuous links and conflicting evidence. One day, egg yolks and butter are health villains. The next they are pardoned. Whole grains are either good for us or turning our brains into mush. Antioxidants are great  -- wait, they might accelerate cancer. Omega 3s prevent heart disease and boost brain power, or maybe they don't.

To this confusion, add a heaping helping of outright lies and untested products. Then a dollop of distrust for medical professionals and academic authority, plus a generous serving of poor regulation and big money politics. Top it off with celebrity pitches and plugs from someone like Dr. Oz.

/What you've got is a recipe for a public-health nightmare. Americans have been turning into do-it-yourself biochemists, unable to sort the bogus from the beneficial. Unfortunately, what we don't know can hurt us. We are spending our money on products that are useless -- or worse.

But could the tide be turning? There are signs that consumers may be starting to wise up and push back, forcing companies to listen.
Posted by at June 11, 2014 6:22 PM
  
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