I was innocently leafing through a “lifestyle” magazine last night (i.e., food, travel, home design, gardening), when I turned a page, saw the ad above, and felt my teeth gnash.
The cause of my tension was an ad for a statin drug. I’m not saying which one. Across the top of the page was a this photo of an attractive, fit, grey-haired-but-youngish-looking man sitting on a weight bench and doing a bicep curl. In the blurred-focus background, you can see other people working out, so it was clearly a gym setting.
Along with this attractive setting comes the bold blue headline: Are you kidding yourself?
The gist of the ad was that if you think you can lower your cholesterol with exercise and a healthy diet, you are (say it with me) kidding yourself.
The ad trots out “statistics” about how most people are unable to lower cholesterol without statins and how most people who have had a heart attack have high cholesterol. Trouble is, there’s no knowing where these statistics come from. When it comes to marketing a drug, cherry-picking the studies that support your message is pretty much par for the course. Drug companies produce a product, and they naturally want as many people as possible to buy their product. Otherwise, why would they invest billions of dollars in research and development. Drug companies are not non-profit. They do not develop new drugs just because they “want to help.”
Anyway, what really ticked me off was that, in a society where not enough people are living the sort of healthy lifestyles that can prevent or manage chronic health conditions, this ad sort-of subtly presents the idea that eating healthy and exercise will kill you, you fool!
Ahh….it’s enough to make my naturally low blood pressure spike!
So, discuss this topic amongst yourselves, dear readers. I’ll be back with Part 2 tomorrow!