I like to think I’m reasonably intelligent, not rocket-scientist smart, but I do OK. I can usually figure stuff out if I think on it long enough and do enough research (thank you Internet). Occasionally I’m stumped — flat out puzzled and left scratching my head — and not over anything as complicated as beating SpaceX to Mars.
That’s when I seek help. I find someone who can get my brain to see the answer, or at least clear up the fuzziness. I’m at one of those places.
I need your input on a problem: I don’t understand the consistency and proliferation of weight-loss scams. Why do charlatans and flimflam men continue to flourish, peddling their food-sprinkles (meant to enhance the flavor making you eat less), fat-burning pills (when legal, probably about as stimulating as coffee), weird gadgets, homeopathic drops (water), and egad injections? Just as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gives one of those bozos the smack-down, another one pops up with a different name but same product. They make a wafer into a pill, or alter the packaging, but it’s all the same quackery. And we all know it — or I assume we do.
Calm my mental consternation.
Before you give me the typical “everyone just wants the easy way out” answer, think a little longer because I truly want to get to the root of this conundrum. I guarantee every man, woman, and child (probably even the family dog) know beyond a shadow of a doubt food and activity play the key role in weight management. We also know scams abound and we scoff at many of them. Yet, we continue to make these hucksters rich.
Why, oh why, do we cram our common sense, ignore our personal experiences, friend’s stories, and the evening news to shell out our hard-earned money in a difficult economy — knowing full well we will not see the results in that stupid before/after advertisement?
Are my assumptions flawed? Is my logic ill-conceived? Do most folks actually not know food and activity are the key, making them easy pickings for false-hope advertising?
I’m not just on my soap box this time (pinky swear). I’d really love some responses. If you ever purchased a weight-loss product (pills, sprinkles, fiber cookies, etc.), and it was a big flop and you turned around and bought another one, help me understand your thought process.
Cipher on it; dig deep into your thoughts, motives, and actions. I’m not looking to make fun or turn you into a poster child. Just help me understand because I’m at a loss.
Maybe the answer truly is humans will forever seek the easy way out, no matter how obviously flawed the supposed solution is, and I fear for our collective future. No more man-on-the-moon. No more great health cures. No more awe inspiring technical innovations.
We’ll all view stuff like that as too hard and prefer to sit back and wait for someone else to serve it up to us. We’ll become pawns of the system — yanked in any direction it deems desirable by invoking “easy” in an ad.
If the answer is people really don’t know the truth about food and activity, then I’ve got some educating to do. I actually hope this is the case. But I fear it isn’t.
Maybe there’s another reason weight-loss tomfoolery continues to profit by the truckload; do share. Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seriously. If I get some mind-opening responses, I’ll put them in my next column.
• NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her Ahwatukee-based company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals and groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit www.azphysix.com.