Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

24 Jul

Why the Hugo Outrage? These Drinks Are Worse

You may have heard about McDonald’s new supersize drink that they refuse to admit is a supersize drink. Hugo (no relation to Lost) is the latest hypocritical atrocity from the Golden Arches. Guess it didn’t take them long to depart from the “we’re healthier now, honest” marketing of late. The Hugo contains over 400 calories (that’s a meal right there). At 42 ounces, this corn syrup catastrophe is priced at less than one dollar. It’s the special obesity value menu.

Hugo derision is already all over the health and consumer blogs and social networking sites (here, here, here, here, and here…and here). It remains to be seen what sort of impact (if any) the blogosphere will have in garnering public outrage over Hugo. But let’s think about this from a different perspective. Everyone cheered when McDonald’s canned its Supersize menu. Supersize-in-disguise Hugo is drawing plenty of flack.

But why pick on Hugo? The following drinks are:

– just as high, or far higher in calories than Hugo

– are massively popular and are consumed by millions daily

– are equally unhealthy

– are much more expensive – so you can be fat and broke

– and yet…they garner zero public outrage!

It’s too easy to pick on McDonald’s and everyone does. But where is the outrage over:
Starbucks: their much-loved grande frappuccinos and creamy “fruit” whipped delights are almost all in the 500+ calorie range and pack upwards of 80 grams of sugar (easily rivaling any decent milkshake – because these are milkshakes).

Jamba Juice and Robeks: these “healthy” fruit juice smoothies are entirely comprised of worthless, sugary juice, ice cream, sorbet or yogurt, and can top out at over 600 calories and 140 grams of pure sugar!

Even a McDonald’s milkshake has less sugar than a “healthy” smoothie. I don’t see anyone fretting over coffee drinks and fruit drinks that are terrible for health. In fact people seem to feel good about slurping these sugar buckets. We are drinking excessive, empty calories without so much as a second thought.

starbuckstea

I’m no advocate of McDonald’s, and the new Hugo is both unethical and hypocritical, but let’s not pretend a coffeehouse with “culture” or a few pictures of strawberries are any better.

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24 Jul

Top 10 Ultimate Fitness Gadgets

Here’s the roundup: Mark and the Bees’ favorite workout gear, as tested and approved. Let us know your favorite exercise essentials!

Vibram 5 Fingers

Less shoe, healthier foot. Very Primal! icon wink

vibram

Garmin Forerunner 201 GPS

Get lost anywhere and find your way home!

correctgarmin

PumpOne

Workouts on the go!

pumpone

Adventure Plus

MacGyver would approve of this multipurpose gadget.

adventureplus

Ipod Shuffle

Clip and go – only $79 bucks for plenty of portable tunes!

ipodshuffle

Tapas Ultra Yoga Mat

The most comfortable, safe mat available.

mat

Omron Digital Premium Pedometer

Keep track of how far you walk each day.

omron

Sennheiser Sport Headphones

Indestructible Exercise-Friendly Headphones

senn

Nintendo Wii with Wii Sports

Have you tried the new balance board?

wii

Cardio Canine

Hands-free leash with bottle holder!

cardiocanine


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23 Jul

Perspective and Priorities

PUR 1

- via Strange New Products

When it comes to water, we really need more options. It’s not enough that we have potable, low-cost drinking water at our convenient disposal. We still can’t seem to appreciate it, let alone drink it. That’s why there’s PUR Flavor Options. With the press of a button, delicious, sugar-free raspberry, peach or strawberry water is yours! Why, how delightful! A flavor cartridge is only 10 dollars and fits conveniently into your existing PUR filtration system. You can enjoy as many as 75 glasses of flavored water. Buy all three for only 30 dollars and enjoy hundreds of glasses of flavored water all month long! Just think how much more water your family will drink now that it’s not boring anymore. Think of the monotonous, life-sucking agony you will avert when you no longer have to drink virtually free, pure, clean water.

You know what else only costs 30 dollars?

childagain

Saving the life of an actual child.

One-fifth of the world’s population does not have access to drinkable water.

4,500 children die every day from lack of drinkable water. And over 2 million people die every year because of poor quality water or dehydration. Every seven minutes, a child dies from dehydration.

Here are some water facts. Here are some more. It breaks my heart that we have such a bloated sense of ennui we actually think we deserve things like PUR flavored water. Sure, it’s not “our fault” that pain and suffering exist. And we all need enjoyment and variety. I guess.

But we don’t need bottled water in this country. We don’t really even need filtered water, let alone flavored filtered water. And we don’t need to spend 2 bucks a pop on Ethos Water to help dying children – we need to drink from the tap and send that 2 bucks to Africa. I’m sure the Ethos people are nice and I bet they really enjoy their private jets and yachts, which is wonderful, but we can all do a lot better. We could use a little horrifying.

Just a thought. Donate here. Or here.

6/27/07 EDITOR’S UPDATE: Aquafina, bite us.

23 Jul

Size Matters

fatdummy

Manufacturers are making larger car seats to accommodate heavy children.

Restaurants have expanded seating sizes (and so have amusement parks).

Even medical equipment has required super-sizing.

In fact, expanding the sizes of chair, belts, booths, and other common widgets is one of the hottest areas of product development in business right now.

At the current rate, we will achieve 100% child obesity in America by 2044 and 100% total population obesity by 2058.

What does obesity look like in dollars, numbers and lives? Learn why obesity is such a “big” deal.

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23 Jul

Disease Inventing Contest!

Restless leg syndrome is “genetic”, researchers tell us. (Technically, the research simply proves that some folks are more susceptible to developing RLS. This is a common thread in genetic research; by no means does that mean the research isn’t inherently valuable. It just means we need to stop blaming our grandparents when we develop diseases that are preventable through smarter lifestyle choices. Your “bad genes” aren’t a license to shirk personal responsibility.)

Restless leg syndrome has to be one of my favorite modern diseases. I could swear it is a profitable invention out of the imagination of our Big Pharma friends – if I didn’t know that the pharmaceutical industry would never do such a thing. Restless leg syndrome occurs overwhelmingly in overweight, inactive individuals. It’s a very logical consequence of an unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, with our tremendous rates of obesity and collective detestation of exercise, it’s a condition that makes perfect sense. It’s entirely preventable, but once again, we’ve manufactured a “disease” and the inevitable accompanying drugs.

I propose: The Invent Your Own Disease Contest

Requirements:

1. Your disease must identify at least one symptom of sedentary behavior, poor diet, weight gain or other unhealthy lifestyle choice. Bonus points for multiple-symptom diseases.

2. Your disease must disappear entirely with exercise, reduced caloric intake and a healthy lifestyle.

3. Your disease must be named after the symptom(s) it represents. It should sound made-up, just like Restless Leg Syndrome. No Latin.

Example: Roll Discomfort Syndrome. This disease is defined by an excessively large stomach roll which creates discomfort when attempting certain physical postures, e.g. curling up in bed, hunching over one’s computer, and leaning over to pick up the cat. There is a genetic component to Roll Discomfort Syndrome. If you have a history of obesity in your family, you may be at risk for Roll Discomfort Syndrome. There are medications to alleviate sensation and discomfort in this area of the body. You do not have to suffer any longer!

Note: there is a neurological component to some cases of RLS that is legitimate and typically unrelated to lifestyle. For example, RLS can afflict those with diabetes, Parkinson’s, anemia, and peripheral neuropathy. That said, addressing the underlying cause will usually alleviate RLS symptoms. But please. The “RLS” drug you see advertised direct-to-consumer on primetime television is not for these folks. This “disease treatment” is a way to make money off two vast and connected public health threats: obesity and inactivity.

P.S. Don’t forget to submit pictures of your fruit bowl to the Bees. A couple that have come in so far look great. Looking forward to seeing yours.

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple