Advertisers and marketing professionals are hired specifically to entice a particular type of shopper to a particular type of product. They not only study how people shop by monitoring product sales, they create trends using clever slogans and familiar words that people sort of understand – but don’t really understand unless they have studied biochemistry and/or nutrition. Words like superfood, antioxidant, detoxifying, functional, natural and organic have increased in popularity and have also helped manufacturers and farmers sell a lot of products.
While the rise in the interest of personal health is a positive thing, the problem is, the information that is presented in virtually every kind of media available to the public – online, TV, magazines, flyers etc., is really just an opinion of the author, or a promotion of a product written by someone that might not have any kind of health training whatsoever. The consumer is more often than not manipulated into purchasing products that have no real health value at all, but might be packaged in such a way that they sure look like they might.
In fact, health trends change practically every year, and every year more and more products claiming to have this or that fantastic capability hit the stores and are marketed to people who just want to fit in and be accepted. Eat this superfood! Take this miracle supplement! So, how do you know what to believe? Learn to ask questions.
Should you only consider opinions from doctors? Who decides who is credible and who isn't? Are you agreeing with this person only because you think that their degree gives you some kind of guarantee?
If a website has a title that sounds like it’s based in a hospital, is it more credible to you?
Do you know who operates that website? Where does their funding come from? Which organizations do they belong to?
Does a designation of a doctorate convince you that this person knows everything there is to know about what is healthy? Do you really believe that person has spent a great deal of time studying nutrition? What if that person holds a doctorate in math or pharmacology? They are in fact a ‘Dr.’ – just not necessarily a medical one that has devoted time to studying how food and chemicals react inside a human body.
What if that doctor works for a company that has a specific interest in marketing a specific product, regardless of what that product is? Is it possible that the doctor’s opinion might be swayed just a little bit towards promoting that particular product so that this doctor can provide for his/her family?
If a person's livelihood is affected, does it not seem reasonable that they would defend their position and attack another? For example - let's say a farm has been passed down through several generations, each wanting to keep the farm in the family. Every couple of years, the costs of the seeds and supplies increase substantially, not to mention the cost of maintaining and/or replacing the equipment on their farm. In order to generate the amount of revenue they need to support their family and continue to run their farming business, they must use the type of seed that brings them the highest yield in their crops. This seed is genetically modified so that the crop can be sprayed multiple times with weed and bug killers without harming the crop itself. The farmer gets a higher yield in crop because the bugs stay away and the weeds don't overtake his field. This ensures he has enough money to care for his family as well as plant a new crop the following year. Does it not seem reasonable that these farmers would defend the use of genetically modified seeds and crops?
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you decide to buy something that claims to do this or that fantastic thing for your health. Consider all the reasons that someone might convince you that altering the seeds of a plant in such a way that it can be sprayed numerous times throughout it's growing life with bug and weed killer, that you and your children are going to consume in some form or another, is perfectly safe.
What about all the information on the internet? According to Google Trends January 2016 versus January 2016 U.S., searches for ‘the best foods for ----‘, have grown 10X since 2005. One example the article states is a search for foods that are best for acid reflux. This search was up a staggering 921%! That is a lot of folks with heartburn.
The thing to remember is, facts about anything change when more information becomes available. Remember when cholesterol was the enemy and everyone was told to limit fat intake? Now, different information has become available that directs people to do just the opposite.
Use common sense and trust your inner voice that says: this doesn’t seem quite right, or this does feel true to me! Most of all, consider the idea that all of us, myself included, are only expressing our opinions based on our education and experience. Some people have a lot of education and no personal experience, and others have a lot of personal experience with limited education. Is more education or experience better than the other?
No one is perfect, and no one knows absolutely everything about any one thing! Each person has their own moral code and set of ethics that they live by, and every person will defend what they are saying and doing if they believe that they are right. It doesn’t necessarily mean that their ideas or beliefs have to be the same as yours, or even that there is a right or wrong about that particular idea. What one person considers to be an untruth, another will defend as absolute truth. The best thing you can do, is learn to listen to that inner voice that guides you and trust that guidance. Follow the advice of the people that feel right to you.
If you’re not sure what CoQ10 actually is or does, why would you purchase something simply because it has CoQ10 in it? CoQ10 or Ubiquinone is a substance both made by the body and obtained in foods such as organ meats and oily fish that is important in heart health. Specifically, it is a co-enzyme that works with other substances in the cells in our bodies that mainly affects heart health. Ask yourself if it makes sense to add this substance to products that you would use externally on your body.
Be aware that certain words and phrases are simply marketing gimmicks. Unless you have unlimited funds that allow you to spend without worry, stop and ask yourself if something makes sense before you buy it. Use common sense when you are out shopping for products or services and you’ll save yourself some money. If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
Take back the power to make your own decisions. Trust that inner voice that is always trying to communicate with you.
© 2017 Penny Hodgson All Rights Reserved