Tag Archives: dieting

“People are grumpy in the morning!” says fruit juice sellers

February 19th, 2012

Tuesday’s Huffington Post reported:

If you find yourself waking up on the wrong side of the bed more often than not and the alarm clock snooze button is your friend, you’re not alone – a third of Brits wake up grumpy.

Frankly, in the middle of a bleak, dark and cold February, I’m shocked it’s only a third of us who wake feeling pretty down. But, as ever with these stories, the stats trotted out are second fiddle to the company name the story is designed to promote, so it’s little surprise to see in the next paragraph:

A survey by YouGov and PomeGreat discovered more than a third of adults in the UK dread getting out of bed and blame their early morning mood swings on work stress.

Well, at least they’re not burying it way down the page. Not mentioned is the PR firm who devised the story, but Pomegreat’s Contacts page suggests this is the work of Twelve Thirty Eight.

Still, let’s have a quick look at the stats, for funsies:

Of the 2,032 people questioned, one in four wished they didn’t have to go to work, with women dreading the day ahead the most.

Of course, why simply promote a product when you can write in a ‘men vs women’ angle to whip up the commenters below the fold. So, women are worst hit when it comes to dreading their day? Sort of…

Despite previous studies telling us that early morning risers are ‘slimmer, happier and healthier’, over 29% of women feel miserable at the start of the working week, compared to 26% of men.

So, in actuality, there’s just 3% in it. I’d be interested to see how this passes a statistical significance test – but I imagine such a test hasn’t been anywhere near this story. Instead, I’d wager that a load of people were asked some pretty generic questions, and the sample set was then datamined to get the results we’re reading here… simply to get this fruit juice a few column inches. Speaking of datamining, the article continues:

And it’s (unsurprisingly) Monday mornings that cause the most misery, and it’s the Welsh that feel the most blue, as 34% of them struggle to scramble from under the duvet, compared to 30% of Londoners, 28% Northerners and 27% of people living in Southern England.

And now we’ve had the data, let’s hear from the spokesperson/expert trotted out in the press release:

Work has become so stressful, more and more of us are producing the cortisol hormone in reaction to stress. This causes us to become irritable, anxious, aggressive and as a result, more unhappy in general,” Dr. Dorian Dugmore, a cardiovascular expert from the study, said in a statement.

A cardiovascular expert, you say? Well, I’m sure he’s the best person to speak to about sleep, waking, diets and nutrition – after all, he specialises in none of those fields, and is a heart specialist… 

What’s more, there’s nothing to back-up his claim that work is more stressful than it used to be, or that ‘more and more of us’ are feeling the effects of stress. But he’s a heart expert, so he must just know that kind of stuff.

“There are plenty of things that we can do to lift our spirits in the morning. A good shower and a balanced breakfast, including a glass of juice, have been clinically proven to improve our mood.”

And bingo – we have a juice connection. Have a glass of juice in the morning, and you’re clinically proven to feel in a better mood, apparently. And what kind of juice might you want to drink? Well it just so happens that Dr Dorian Dougmore is the spokesperson for Pomegreat juice:

It’s enough to make you grumpy, no matter what time of day it is.

“Married women are fat!” says weight loss firm targeting married women

February 14th, 2012

Another day, another weight loss firm telling women that ‘research’ says they’re fat… in order to peddle them a dubious diet as the solution. Take this one in the Daily Mail:

The fat wives brigade: Women pile on the pounds when in a relationship (gaining 16lb in the first six months)

New couple often vow to stick together through thick and thin. But men embarking on a new relationship may not realise just how literally their partner might take the thick part. 

A staggering 90 percent of women gain weight when they settle down with a long term partner, a study revealed today. 

The average woman puts on a belt-busting 16lbs, with the majority (56 per cent) starting to gain weight just four to six months in to the relationship.

Perhaps these figures are real. But what we do know is that the company pushing these figures and conducting the research have a clear interest in making people (and, given the market, particularly women) a reason to feel like they need a weight loss product:

Of the 1,000 women polled by weight management company LighterLife, over a third blamed an increase in cosy nights in for their weight gain.

How do we know this is a press release? Well, it’s not easy, but interestingly from searching for the quote picked out by the company representative, you can see that three hours before the Daily Mail published their article, the exact same story appears on an independent blog:

I might be wrong, and it may well be that the timing isn’t accurate, and the blog copied the Mail… but if that’s the case, it’s odd that the blog not only includes much of the same wording as the Mail’s article, but it also includes a whole section about a webchat too, which is missing from the Mail’s.

Further, the sections quoted by the blogger clearly come with the title of the press release: 

Love is in the air, and in the belly…

My guess would be that the blogger above was sent the press release, along with Deborah Arthurs at the Daily Mail – both of whom published it, the latter of the two very slightly re-wording the sections that weren’t direct quotes and publishing it as news.

So, weight loss company tells women they’re fat – and the newspapers present this as if it’s a genuine discovery, and not a thinly-veiled play on the insecurities of the target audience.

“Women – You don’t even know how fat you really are!” says weight-loss firm ‘Eat Water’

February 13th, 2012

Here’s a lovely tale from last week’s Daily Mail:

Two thirds of women have lied about their size, with 9lbs being the average amount by which they reduce their true weight.

Researchers found millions of women fib about their weight with many ‘losing pounds’ when talking to a partner, best friend and even their mum.

That’s right, women lie – in this case, about their weight, and to the people they love. And it doesn’t stop there:

Because of the lies, a quarter of women are now confused about their true weight and regularly buy the wrong sizes.

These poor deluded women even have themselves convinced that they’re slim. Which might explain why any women reading this might not think they’re overweight – you fools! You’ve bought your own lie!

Or at least so says Maysa Rawi of the Daily Mail. Or, rather, so says the press release trumpeting up this story, which is virtually identical to the article Maysa produced for the Mail. As ever, it’s not just the Mail who fell for this, with articles also appearing in The Sun and The Star, so far.

And just who has a vested interest in telling women they’re fat, even if they don’t realise it themselves? Step forward Eat Water – a weight-loss firm with some pretty zany sounding claims for their range of products:

Have you ever wondered how easy it would be to lose weight if you could eat water?

If you answered yes to that question, congratulations! You’re a moron.

I’ll leave the dissection of the science behind this to other people, along with the marketing claim made in the original press release that Eat Water is ‘a new pasta product that encourages weight loss so the more you eat the more weight you lose’.

But the next time you hear about Eat Water, remember they decided the best way to market their product was to tell women they’re fatter than they’ll admit to, and that women are fooling themselves if they think otherwise. Charming.