Independent experts or clever marketing?

I think that the majority of people want to live a long and healthy life and we try to do the best we can to ensure that this happens.  We certainly try to eat the right things.

Have you noticed how confusing this has all become?  When you look at the ingredients on items at the supermarket, half of the items are unrecognisable as food with various E-codes listed.

It seems like every week the results of a study are released or an ‘expert’ releases their opinion on what we should and shouldn’t eat.  Sometimes this weeks’ study contradicts last weeks’ study and sometimes the confusion is all contained within the one study!

I love the article I saw last week in the newspaper which said that not eating enough red meat is related to depression and anxiety in women, but went on to say that eating more that the weekly recommended intake is also linked to increased depression. How confusing!

Today I saw an article which stated that two cups of tea a day may help boost a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.  It went on to say that two cola-style fizzy drinks per day regardless of whether they were the diet version or contained sugar seems to reduce a woman’s prospects of conceiving.  They then said that drinking coffee had no effect, but someone else wants to do another study to be sure as other studies had been inconclusive.

What are we supposed to do with all of this confusing and contradictory information?  No wonder we are seeing an increase of obesity in western society.  We are confused and we don’t really know exactly what we are consuming in all of the processed foods which we purchase.

A critical factor in all of this is that we are not usually told the details of the study. Whether the ‘experts’ are conducting this survey as independents, or whether they have been paid by manufacturers or marketing companies to come up with some compelling information to make us buy their product.  Perhaps we are being totally gullible and buying into a marketing lie.

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3 Comments

  1. It is totally confusing. Unless you can read the original, full text from a peer reviewed journal article, there is no way of being sure about the headlines. Even with the full study, you need a degree in statistics to interpret the full measure of the findings. I try to use the: common sense, what makes me feel better, variety is good, ingredients I can pronounce method. Warning, the method is virtually useless when eating out.

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  2. I like your method Katie, especially when it comes to being able to pronounce the ingredients. We really are flying blind when we eat out. I guess if we eat out as an occasional treat rather than a regular event it probably doesn’t matter so much if our base diet is reasonably healthy.

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  3. You need a chemistry degree to understand the ingredient lists. I saw a wonderful documentary not long ago called Food Inc. One of the things I took away from this was to eat as our grandmothers would have. If she would not recognise something as food, then we shouldn’t eat it. Shop around the supermaket ie the fresh foods found on the outside and try not to go in the middle where the majority of processed foods live for years on the shelf. I’m a physician and I’m confused about the advice sent out way regarding foods.

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