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Hypocrisy in the Health and Fitness Industy

August 26, 2009

I admit it.  I read health and fitness magazines, and I love them.  I keep saying I’m going to stop reading them, because I think they mess with my head a bit much, but I just can’t.  There are certainly worse things to be addicted to.  I love reading about new workouts and products, seeing the Success Stories and learning more about my favorite celebrities, in a paparazzi free environment.  What I don’t love is some of the advertisements I find inside:


I also don’t love some of the headlines on the covers, that are meant to draw people in, such as:


I get it, they want to sell magazines, and having such titles like this draws people in.  But what kind of unrealistic attitude does this promote?  Lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks?  There can’t be anything healthy about restricting your daily caloric intake to about 1000 calories, and loss like that isn’t lasting.  An article like this makes women think it is so simple to lose weight, and just by losing weight, they will become healthier, better people.  I know I felt like this in high school, thinking there would be a quick fix and once I found it everything would be right in my world.  It wasn’t until competitive swimming in college, when I was working out hours at a time, that I realized there was no magical fix.  My body is this way, and there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it, other than take care of it, keep it healthy and hope it stays this way for a long time.

These magazines aren’t all bad, there are great articles on eating your best, balancing your diet, fitting workouts into your hectic schedule, and inspirational stories from women who lost the weight and kept it off.  Why then, do magazines publish articles such as The Dangers of Detox Diets, Are Detox Diets Safe and Effective? and Dangerous Diet Pills if they are going to continue to put advertisements from diet pills, detox diets and quick fix plans in their magazines?  I understand that it costs money to make a magazine, and these advertisers do pay big bucks to have their product in a magazine.  However, it seems really hypocritical to me that these magazines should encourage women that slow and steady win the race with weight loss, then put articles in their magazines such as The Slimmer in 7 Days Workout?  I’m certainly not discounting these workouts, I just want to understand the logic of telling women to be patient and keep working at their goal, when on the next page they are being told a week is all it takes?!

In general, I just feel frustrated by the whole situation.  When I read a magazine, I want to see products being advertised, not false claims.  It’s wrong for a magazine to tell women how bad diet pills and detox diets are, to follow it up a page later with an advertisement for one of these dangerous pills.  I’ve written letters to several of the magazines complaining about this, and questioning their logic, but have never gotten a response.  I would love to see a massive letter writing campaign letting these magazines know that they are sending the wrong message to readers with their mixed up media.

So write a letter!  What do you think?  Do you agree with me, or am I totally out line, since freedom of the press allows these magazines to print advertisements from whomever they wish?  I think there is no harm in writing to these magazines, if you agree, and if you do, please let me know!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2009 1:05 pm

    I agree with many of your points. Sadly, I don’t see magazines changing for the most part because they are most concerned about their bottom dollar and staying afloat; especially in today’s shaky economy.

  2. August 26, 2009 1:40 pm

    I agree with you, but I’m not sure magazines will ever change, either. That front cover is what sells, and those one-liners have to catch your attention, for whatever reason it might be.

    I do hate the ads for diet pills and other things found in some magazines.

  3. August 26, 2009 2:12 pm

    For them most part Oxygen mag doesn’t get side tracked but once in awhile they do with the lose 10 in 3 weeks. I remember that article too. I like the mag but I get sick of the Ads they have, too many. Tosca needs to tel her hubby to include more clean eating articles!! lol

  4. solomomo permalink
    August 26, 2009 2:37 pm

    It won’t ever change, and that’s the most frustrating part! I admit to being sucked in by the one liners, but I just hate seeing these ads on every other page! And yes Nicci, they do need more clean eating articles, they seem buried in the magazine! Tosca needs to whip her hubby into shape and share more recipes too!

  5. Derek Levisohn permalink
    August 26, 2009 4:26 pm

    Great post!

    You may be interested to learn that healthy chocolate can help you lose weight! Cacao (Unprocessed cocoa powder) has appetite-suppressant properties, cocoa is often added to weight loss products to help control hunger.

    Much of today’s common diet is comprised of empty calories. If the body is not receiving the nutrients it needs, it produces the urge to eat more. Unprocessed cocoa powder, on the other hand, provides the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals the body needs, thus decreasing the urges for added “fuel”.

    Also, Cacao is an excellent source of fiber, which blocks fat absorption, creates a feeling of fullness and is associated with decreased weight.

    In addition, Cacao increases the body’s endorphin levels, which naturally decreases the need to eat high-sugar, high-fat foods. The “high” one gets from the dark chocolate supersedes any enjoyment one might get from eating, so the focus shifts to eating for nutrition rather than pleasure.

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  6. John Jones permalink
    August 28, 2009 3:24 am

    I like this post and glad I found your site.

  7. Jill permalink
    August 28, 2009 4:07 am

    I like chocolate.

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