Thursday, 19 July 2012

Follow the Money

Money pushes out other norms of behaviour, most recently evidenced by the phone hacking scandal in the British Media.  Money can't buy you love, but it does give you power (and if it doesn't give you power it is a surrogate for power).  Bankers, Pharma and Politicians have all fallen victim to this behavioural modification and as the Catholic Church has illustrated with such clarity, nothing will corrupt as much as a desire to protect power.

As the major pillars of our civilisation crumble around us, it should come as no surprise to find that the fitness industry is similarly devoid of integrity.  The Guardian today ran with the following story, 'Research pours cold water on alleged benefits of sports products':
  • "There is a striking lack of evidence to support the vast majority of sports-related products that make claims related to enhanced performance or recovery, including drinks, supplements and footwear," conclude researchers led by Dr Carl Heneghan of Oxford's centre for evidence-based medicine.
    Makers of sports drinks have succeeded in persuading people that they need to drink them, rather than water, and forged links with leading sports bodies in a bid to gain the public's trust and normalise their use, according to a joint BMJ-BBC investigation.

    Phrases such as "stay ahead of thirst", promotion of the "science of hydration" and advising sports enthusiasts to consume sports drinks before starting to exercise have helped create a global industry that forecasters Mintel estimated will be worth $1.6bn by 2016, they say.
The best line goes to Dr Colin Cable, the pharmaceutical science information officer at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society,
  • "However, for the vast majority of sporting participants, it is questionable whether any form of supplementation will be necessary, as a healthy balanced diet will provide their body's requirements for protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals,"
I hate to be a cynic, but where there are big profits to be made, wherever people have power, where there is a lack of transparency or where people don't have any skin in the game, don't expect individuals to escape such behaviours.


Christine Mattice said...

You're right. It's all about money. People need to be discerning whenever they hear a huge amount of hype about a product. The claims are probably highly inflated just to make a buck.

Asclepius said...

Hi Christine! No one want to be told to just eat 'real food' (fresh, seasonal, and from the hoof/tree/ground), do some sprints and a few basic lifts for strength. Focus on quality sleep/recovery. Socialise, explore the outdoors and play. Repeat.

But for heatlh, that is pretty much all there is to it.