Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cosmo Should Never Write About Health Again

I told you in the last post that there was an article that I read in this month's Cosmo that almost made me break out in hives.. it pissed me off THAT MUCH.  I'm not gonna lie, I do love Cosmo.  One would think I would have outgrown it by now, but no.  It definitely makes for some entertaining reading, right along with US Weekly and People.
The offender in this month's issue was an article called "Staying Healthy Just Got Easier."  It supposedly debunks 7 standard health rules, and replaces them with some really, really crappy advice.  I am only going to talk about the ones that truly bother me, but even still, there is no real way to make this a short post.  If I'm already boring you, stop now.

Here are the standard rules, the ones that they say no longer apply:

Rule One: "You Must Drink 8 Glasses Of Water A Day."  Now, I do agree that this is not for everyone.  Some people need more or less, depending on climate, activity level, etc.  And some drinks such as herbal tea, etc, can be a decent replacement for plain water.  But the article doesn't expand on this at all.  In fact, a quote is used by a women's health specialist who says, "As long as you are drinking water or other beverages throughout the day, just use your thirst as a general guide."  So many things wrong with this sentence... first of all, what kind of beverages?  Does soda count?  Hawaiian Punch?  So I can drink 8 Dr Peppers a day and get the same benefits as 8 glasses of water a day?  Um... I think not.  And as far as using your thirst for a guide, in a perfect world, people wouldn't get super thirsty all the time.  It's the first sign of dehydration.  You should be drinking BEFORE you get thirsty.
Rule Two: "You Have To Work Out For An Hour Daily" While I think every little bit counts, every single article (NOT in Cosmo,) that I have read states this as a fact.  On most days, people should get 30-60 minutes of a sweaty workout.  Do we all do this?  No.  But SHOULD we?  Yes.  This is possibly the most infuriating one of all to me, because it pretty much says point blank, that when you add up activities such as running errands, walking up the stairs, and cleaning, you get more than half your weekly workout.  Oh really??  There is an actual chart at the bottom of the page that shows that in a day, if you have sex for 10 minutes, run errands for 10 minutes, and clean for 10 minutes, you have met your exercise quota for the day.  I want to slap whoever wrote that out.  Let me say this... I work two jobs, one of which is standing for anywhere from 4-8 hours at a time.  I am constantly walking back and forth up and down the front end.  I do all the grocery shopping, I live on the 3rd floor, and I occasionally clean my house.  I also live with my boyfriend, and well, let's leave it at that.  I still manage to be 20 pounds overweight.  But I guess the 20 minute stroll with Molly, the 2 hikes up and down 3 flights of stairs, and loading my dishwasher tonight was enough. 
Rule Five:  "You Need Tons Of Fruits And Veggies To Meet The Requirements"  Well, no.  Not a ton.  But they are the best foods for you, hands down, and should make up a good percentage of what is eaten in a day.  Its more the advice afterward that bothers me.  Its the paragraph that says, "They count toward your fruit and veggie requirements even if they're dipped in chocolate, battered in tempura, pureed in sauces or soups, or piled on top of a pizza."  According to the geniuses at Cosmo, I can eat chocolate dipped fruit, deep fried veggies, and pizza by the gallon as long as it's the veggie option.  Seriously? 
There was another rule about sleep that I'm not even going to bother with.  This post is long enough already, but you get the gist of the article.  I really hope it was written by a third grader, (although I also hope a third grader doesn't consider sex a form of exercise.)  I am so let down by this entire thing.  In the age where cancer, diabetes and heart disease are running rampant through our society, at a time when obesity levels in adults AND children are hitting an all time record high, at a time when we really need to all be making some serious decisions about our health and well being... THIS is the crap people are going to read??  Not everyone is educated about food, and health, and exercise, and how to lead a healthy lifestyle.  So it breaks my heart to think that some girl is going to open this magazine, come to this article and read about how running errands and topping her pizza with veggies and washing it all down with a soda is okay.  She is going to think that as long as she cleans her house and goes grocery shopping, this is enough exercise for the day.  Wow Cosmo, way to contribute to the already serious health issues of America.  I suggest a little more research next time. 


Kelly said...

Hopefully no one takes too seriously a health article that likely follows "How to Give the Best Blow Job Ever," which of course is the main feature article in every issue of Cosmo. Personally I'm about as likely to get my health tips from Cosmo as I am to consult Playboy for self-esteem advice.

Brittany @ A Healthy Slice of Life said...

I like that you pointed out this article. It's frustrating that they can't make a happy balance between the two extremes... sure, not everyone can work out for 60 minutes a day, but walking around the grocery store hardly counts as cardio.

People need to accept that changing their unhealthy habits isn't easy at first, but small changes lead to big results!

Thanks for posting! :)

Expat Barbie said...

lame lame lame.

the water thing, especially, irks me. by the time you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated !!!

Rachel said...

Kelly: You are totally right, and I was lmao as I read your comment. The thing that worries me about it though is that there is clearly a huge disconnect in our country of how we view health, and someone who isn't educated in healthy behavior would read that article and think it was great, because it basically says you don't really need to do anything. In my opinion, it was a totally irresponsible article to write, and so badly researched that it shouldn't have even been published.

Brittany: That is exactly my point. Forget anything to do with weight loss, do they really think grocery shopping does anything good for your HEART? No..

Crazy Baby Mama: Yes, lame. And I think my jaw hit the floor when I read that quote about the water from a doctor. Really???

Anonymous said...

Exactly why I read cosmo for other look at pretty pictures and get ideas on haircuts, clothes, and laugh at all the sex advice! :)