Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Inhuman Fashion

Both men and women are heavily affected by the media, which distorts body image more and more every day. The following video, showing the transformation of an average woman into a gorgeous billboard star, was made by the Dove Beauty Campaign. This video is very popular, but for those who haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

Everyone knows that people in magazines and other images are usually altered and airbrushed, but seeing the entire process makes it a harsh reality. This video is the kind of thing I used to shake my head at, disappointed with the way that young girls everywhere were being influenced to achieve an impossible beauty standard. But something worse has already trickled down into the many facets of the beauty industry.

The airbrushed-but-still-human look is a wave of the past. The models replacing the photoshopped ones don’t even exist. That’s right; the two women in the picture below are completely computer generated, with features hand picked by fashion tycoons. If you look closely, the bodies of the two women are strikingly alike. How can any real woman possibly look so perfect? The fact is, they cant, and the spokesperson of H&M (the company who created the models below) agrees.

“H&M…cannot find someone with both body and face that can sell their bikinis.”
-Helle Vaagland

Click image to view source article.

The sad thing is, millions of people will see these images and buy into the messages they convey. The mission of the Dove Beauty Campaign is to remind society what human beings are supposed to look like. If companies continue to create impossible standards, we may be headed into the same sinkhole as the world in Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies.

Next time you compare yourself to a picture in a magazine or a person on TV, remember that God didn’t grace that person with perfection; a computer did.


What Every Mom Should Know

The results of a recent study have driven an uproar from the public regarding FDA regulations and consumer safety. This week, there have been multiple discussions on ABC, USA Today, Doctor Oz, and many other news mediums concerning the safety of one of the most highly used products in America: apple juice. It has now been disclosed that fruit juices may contain dangerous levels of arsenic.

Arsenic is an element that can be lethal to both humans and other organisms. Although it occurs naturally in the environment, the manipulation of mankind has made it one of the most dangerous poisons that is now found in every day things such as glass, wood, and food. Lenntech Water Treatment Solutions says the following about the health effects of arsenic:

Exposure to inorganic arsenic can cause various health effects, such as irritation of the stomach and intestines, decreased production of red and white blood cells, skin changes and lung irritation. It is suggested that the uptake of significant amounts of inorganic arsenic can intensify the chances of cancer development, especially the chances of development of skin cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and lymphatic cancer.

A very high exposure to inorganic arsenic can cause infertility and miscarriages with women, and it can cause skin disturbances, declined resistance to infections, heart disruptions and brain damage with both men and women.
Finally, inorganic arsenic can damage DNA.

According to the Dr. Oz website, most drinking water in the United Stated contains about 10 parts per billion. At least 10% of tested apple juice samples contained about 23 parts per billion or higher, more than twice the drinking water standard. Arsenic is carefully regulated in the U.S. because it is so highly toxic, so how can arsenic levels in juice possibly be so high?

There is a simple answer. A very large portion of the products that Americans use every day are imported from other countries; up to 60% of juice concentrate is imported from china alone. Although regulations on the substance are strict in the United States, many countries have little or no regulations. The United states also has import regulations that may differ from those for products made in the states. This means that water used to irrigate crops may be tainted with high levels of arsenic and other toxins attributed to pesticides. The plants, which absorb arsenic and other poisons easily, eventually make it into our refrigerators.

Obviously, most of us feel completely fine. So what’s the big deal?

One of the most frightening concerns this brings up is the safety of our children. Anyone who is a parent knows that children are some of the biggest juice drinkers out there. I witness my siblings drink multiple glasses almost every day. Such large amounts of juice that can possibly contain toxins can be harmful to young bodies that are not yet able to filter them out. What disturbs me most is the fact that the two juices that my siblings consume the most, Juicy Juice and Gerber, contain the highest levels of arsenic in the study. In fact, Gerber is owned by Novartis, a pharmaceutical company that is also know for putting mercury in flu shots.

The point is, few of us know what is is we are feeding our children and consuming ourselves. Although the FDA is a great organization that can protect us, we should be doing our own additional research on the products we use.

To view information discussed in this article, visit:

Healthier Holidays

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, millions of Americans are anticipating enjoying their holiday favorites, such as stuffing, pies, green-bean casserole, mashed potatoes, yams, and of course, turkey with cranberry sauce. But with so many delicious opportunities that lie ahead, nutritionists are cautioning people to celebrate the holiday season with discretion.

Rumor has it that people typically gain 5-10 pounds from the fall season to the new year. Recent research has debunked this claim. Nutirtionist Monica Reinagel clarifies that people typically gain only one pound or less of body weight over the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.

Although people don’t gain as much as they think they do, overeating can still be a real danger to people’s health. That one pound can stick around for the rest of the year and be added to each season. In addition, overeating stretches the stomach, making people more prone to overeat later. In fact, historical examples confirm that it is possible to eat one’s self to death:

1751: Julien Offray de La Mettrie, a major materialist and sensualist philosopher and author of L’Homme machine, died of overeating at a feast given in his honor.

1771: Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden, died of digestion problems on 12 February 1771 after having consumed a meal of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne, topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: hetvägg served in a bowl of hot milk. He is thus remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as “the king who ate himself to death.”

1974: Basil Brown, a 48-year-old health food advocate from Croydon, drank himself to death with carrot juice.

2007: Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old woman from Sacramento, California, died of water intoxication while trying to win a Nintendo Wii console in a KDND 107.9 “The End” radio station’s “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest, which involved drinking large quantities of water without urinating.

SourceWikipedia, “List of Unusual Deaths”

Walking into the dining room finding relatives dead from eating too much could really put a damper on the holiday season. As you can see, there is more to worry about than simply gaining a pound or two. If weight gain is still a big concern, there are a lot of simple things one can do, such as supplementing smaller portions with items from the veggie tray. For more tips and information, you can visit: