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Healthy Marketing Hype

January 19, 2011

I started today with a gorgeous breakfast of a dippy duck egg, a slice of wholemeal toast with marmite and a small glass of orange juice.

Here are the yummy rich duck eggs:

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I know that these eggs came from happy healthy ducks because they belong to my boyfriend’s parents! The ducks live the life of luxury running around their garden in Lincolnshire and produce the most yummy rich eggs that are just perfect soft boiled with soldiers (I’m a big kid at heart and love egg and soldiers!). I’m going to try and source a photo of the ducks in question for tomorrow’s entry.

I’ve been really hungry all day today, possibly after doing that fast walk yesterday evening.  I’ve tried to eat according to my appetite as I feel that I’m now quite good at recognising real hunger rather than eating out of boredom, sadness or other emotional reasons. Mid-morning I had an apple and a few brazil nuts.

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Lunch was another brown rice salad, this time with sprouting beans and hummus.

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I had my mid-afternoon snack only an hour or so after lunch because I was starving – I has some pumpkin seeds and some dried pear. When I got home from work I had some fat-free fromage frais, half a banana, the dregs of my M&S fruit and nut mix and some milled flax seed (phew – what a combination! Was delicious though)

Dinner was a vegetable and chick pea curry. I basically put the following in a big pan and cooked it on the hob for 45 mins:

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 leek
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 1 can chick peas
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tspn vegan marigold vegetable bouillion
  • a pinch each of coriander, cumin, ginger, chilli powder, black pepper
  • a large handful of spinach added for 5 mins at the end of cooking

I made enough for two large servings so I put half in the freezer for when I don’t have time to cook. I finished the evening with 2 pieces of Lindt 85% cocoa chocolate (mmmm … I love a big hit of chocolate!)

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Exercise tonight was a boxercise class. I really enjoy this class as it’s a combination of boxing on the punch-bags, step aerobics, abs exercises, skipping and strength moves with hand weights. It’s not quite as hard-core as my other circuits classes, but I try to put 100% in to get the most out of it. I wrote this before I went to the class. The instructor changed the routine this week and he made it harder – I’m going to ache tomorrow!

One news item really caught my eye this morning when I was scanning the BBC News website. It concerns “Vitamin Water” which if you’re not familiar with it is a Coca-Cola brand of fruity water drinks with added vitamins. The advertising watchdog has ruled that claims made by Coca-Cola that Vitamin Water is “nutritious” are misleading. The watchdog said that it would not expect a product claiming to be nutritious to have 23g of sugar in it (that’s nearly 5 teaspoons!).

Reading this article brought to mind a series of programmes that was on BBC Two a couple of months ago – “The Foods That Make Billions”. Unfortunately the programmes are no longer available on BBC iPlayer, but this link gives some more information on what they were about. Each programme focused on products (bottled water, cereals, yogurt)  that are made from cheap commodities and marketed so well that huge margins can be added. The series really affected me and made me question my buying and eating habits. After the programme on bottled water I went straight out the next day and bought a 1litre water bottle and I now fill it up at the tap at work for free.

The health market is a major prize for the big food manufacturers and I get the the feeling they will try anything to get us to pay over the odds for their products. I can’t see how drinking Vitamin Water is any easier or better than drinking a glass of tap water and some fresh fruit or veg, or even a multivitamin if you want an extra hit. Yet the marketing bods at Coca-Cola have many people believing the hype. One key point that the documentaries made is that sugar sells – add sugar to anything and it will taste nice and people will buy it, even if it has a so-called “healthy” image. I’ve become so much more aware of what’s in the food and drink I consume and it really annoys me that food manufacturers manipulate consumers’ perception of what’s healthy.

On a related point, I’ve been drinking Berocca every morning for a couple of years now. A love the taste of it and as a result remember to take one every day. However, at around £4 for 15 tablets I’m beginning to think it’s not worth the money (another example of marketing hype?). So I’ve bought an own-brand multivitamin for just £4.50 for 60 tablets – I hope I can remember to take them without the incentive of having a lovely orange drink first thing in the morning.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2011 10:21 pm

    Yes I agree- I saw those progs too_ they repeat them on BBC3 every now and then. It is crazy how much of a mark up first of all, and secondly how misleading packaging can be. Like, 95% fat free, is still 5% fat, and it cannot officially be a low fat food (which has to be less than 3%) but by putting that on the pack it makes it seem low in fat. Or anything low fat (eg yoghurts) are just full of sugar or artificial sweeteners- they have to get the flavour somewhere. I used to always go for low fat yoghurts especially (or those light alpen bars which I had again recently and they were so sweet and horrible)- then I started to realise that I was really relying on sugar or artificial sweeteners and who knows what else. Love the links to the old posts 🙂

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