Tag: marketing

Taxing Sweet Drinks

Earlier this month, The New England Journal of Medicine featured an opinion piece about taxing nutritionally empty, sweetened beverage items. The article, entitled “Ounces of Prevention – The Public Case for Taxes on Sugared Beverages,” specifically highlighted the proposal considered but recently dropped in New York State. Governor Patterson of New York late last year proposed an 18% sales tax on soda and fruit beverages containing less than 70% juice. In Maine a wholesale tax on sodas and the sweetening syrups used for their production had been implemented by lawmakers but was recently overturned by voters. With these proposals and related studies in the spotlight, public officials and health experts have increasingly been pressing the beverage tax possibility.

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The Red Scare

It’s a headline you’ve probably seen by now splashed all over the news sites and channels – “Eating More Red Meat Ups Mortality Risk.” (Red meat once again wears the black hat: surprise, surprise.) Actually, millions of readers/viewers have likely stumbled across the caption and unfortunately taken it at face value. But you know us by now. It’s just too much fun being the merry skeptics when it comes to these sound bites of misinformation.

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Bitter Divisions and Murky Motives: Fibromyalgia Treatments

In yet another display of their unlimited zeal for the treatment (not prevention, mind you) of mysterious and “murky” illnesses (usually, believe it or not, with the aid of expensive pills), pharmaceutical companies last year spent hundreds of millions of dollars (including $6 million in grants to “non profit” medical conferences and “education campaigns”) to establish the controversial fibromyalgia as a legitimate, serious illness requiring the kind of treatment only Big Pharma could possibly provide. On the surface, this seems like a relatively selfless act of goodwill and honest research – just a couple of multinational pharmaceutical companies tossing their money around and savin’ lives… right?

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Off-Label Cosmetic Prescriptions

Last month we brought you news (and humble perspective) on the pharmaceutical industry’s off-label marketing practices. Just a couple weeks after the fact, what before our wondering eyes should appear? News that a glaucoma drug (Lumigan) was just approved by the FDA for off-label use as an eyelash enhancer. Call us suckers, we know, but we couldn’t resist taking the bite. Finding new uses for existing poor selling drugs has become a cottage industry. Reminds me of the old SNL skit, “Shimmer. It’s a dessert topping AND a floor wax!”

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Off-Label Pharmaceutical Promotion

What can we say? We’ve got Pharma on the mind this week! On Monday Mark offered commentary on the latest “study” being spun to further promote statins to the general population. It seemed like an opportune time to bring you news of a recent report on the “unofficial” business of off-label pharmaceutical marketing and the clever manipulation of drug approval rules and research dissemination.

Two researchers with significant experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., an associate professor in the GUMC Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and Douglas Melnick, M.D., a preventive medicine physician in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health have published a report in the free online journal PLoS Medicine shedding light on risky and legally questionable practices that have become commonplace in the industry.

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Statin Insanity

Don’t know whether to laugh or cry (I have already screamed), but the headline in today’s LA Times and in many major papers across the country seemed like a paid advertisement for Big Pharma.

“A New Front on Heart Disease: Stain drugs can cut cardiac and stroke risks in people with normal cholesterol levels, researchers say.”  Wow! As I predict Dr. Michael Eades will say, “Jesus wept.”  As I say, “here we go again digging a hole to place the ladder in so you can wash the basement windows.”

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Heart Attack Grill – Take Two!

We first introduced you to the Heart Attack Grill – home of the Double Bypass Burger – back in December 2006 and again in March and April of last year (what can we say, we’re really just couldn’t believe it). This ridiculous “concept” eatery is up to the same old nonsense, but a reader sent in some absurd images that just we had to share.

Located in Chandler, Arizona, the Heart Attack Grill was founded in 2005 by Jon “Dr Jon” Brasso (who, incidentally, also wears a white lab coat to work) as a means to provide patrons – or as he calls them, patients – with food that is “so bad for you it’s shocking.” The menu boasts single-, double-, triple- and quadruple-bypass burgers.

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Top 10 Health Marketing Buzz Words (Ripe for Skepticism)

We’ve talked at length about the health benefits of certain foods, even going so far as to label them “Smart Fuels.” And, while we stand by our statements that there are foods out there that are particularly good for you once the marketing masterminds at food manufacturing firms catch wind of it, these poor foods are hailed as the new wonder food. In fact, they become so popular that they become buzz terms in the industry, able to sell just about any product provided it gets an honorable mention on a product label. Our beef? These so-called super foods can never live up to the hype and certainly can’t confer any kind of health benefit when they are served up in processed food items such as gum, candy, yogurt chips and sugar-laden juices! Read on to see our list of the top 10 health foods that have tried, and failed, to live up to the hype:

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Top 10 Junk Foods in Disguise

Organic; low-carb; reduced sugar; preservative and chemical free; made from all natural ingredients; and now with special bacterial cultures designed to help you poop! Seriously, is there anything that “health” food can’t do (or fix, or correct, or modify, or prevent…)?

Uhh…yeah. Especially if it’s junk food masquerading as health food.

In recent years, food manufacturers have grown increasingly privy to the American public’s dietary whims. In the early 90s, they fell over themselves to cut the fat, replaced sugar with sugar alcohols to keep up with the low-carb dieters of the new millennium and are now plying us with promises of eco-chic or otherwise “green” food.

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10 Outrageous Diet Scams

Here at Mark’s Daily Apple we know that the key to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet and plenty of physical activity. Tough? Sure. Effective? Absolutely.

But what if someone told you that you could ditch the exercise and the healthy eating and still fit in your favorite jeans? You know by now that it’s not going to work, but for millions of Americans it sounds like a solution worth signing up for!

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