I'll Have a Coke+ With That!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Not too long ago, I filled out an opinion survey on a variety of household and personal products (cleaners, hygiene, etc.). My goal was to voice my opinion about the toxicity of the average product. Last week, I received a ‘thank you for your opinion’ booklet of coupons (I am sure the Extreme Couponing people would be absolutely senseless for these ‘free X products’, ‘free Y products’, and ‘free Z products’). I noticed that several – more like 25% of them were for diabetes-related products…by this I mean different blood sugar testing machines, strips for these machines, sugar-free nutrient shakes for people suffering from diabetes, and a variety of foods marketed towards diabetics. You are suffering from type-2 diabetes when your body makes insulin, but it is not able to use it properly. It is usually caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, including lack of exercise, and eating unhealthy foods.

Has it really become commonplace for the average person to be diagnosed with type-2 diabetes (or obesity) over the course of their lifetime? (Over two million Canadians have type-2 diabetes) I find that amazing; we have clearly lost touch with our food and lifestyle cultures! What’s worse, even people who make an effort to read labels and eat healthy products get two-timed; the majority of products are marketed in a way that will make you believe you are purchasing a product that is healthy (i.e. Added Omega 3’s, for example in children’s colourful cereals!). Meanwhile it is likely processed and full of refined sugars and flours. When you refine flour, you remove the protein and most of the healthy fats; even if you add them afterwards, your body will not have the enzymes (contained in the flour prior to processing) needed to properly absorb those nutrients.

Not only are companies allowed to sell and market those products to us, but they are creating similar products so that when people are diagnosed with diabetes they can keep spending their money on new wonderful (and unhealthy) products just for them. My favourite: Diet Coke Plus, infused with (yes…I know!) — Vitamins! Each 8-ounce serving provided 15% of your recommended daily intake for niacin and vitamins B6 and B12, and 10% for zinc and magnesium (http://dietcoke.com/about-diet-coke/our-products.jsp). What’s your take on that?


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