What’s wrong with exercise?

March 31, 2008

As consumers, when are we going to stop listening and start doing?  A recent study of  Vytorin proved the drug had absolutely no effect on cholesterol levels. According to an article posted on Newsday’s web site, many leading doctors urged their peers to revert back to “older, tried-and-true treatments for high cholesterol.”  Does this suggest doctors will begin telling their patients to eat right and exercise?  


“People need to turn back to statins,” said Yale University cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz, referring to Lipitor, Crestor and other widely used brands. “We know that statins are good drugs. We know that they reduce risks.”j04096602.jpgj04096602.jpgj04096602.jpgj04096602.jpg


Okay, I am convinced that not everyone who is diagnosed with high cholesterol is overweight.  However, do these drugs benefit us more than they hurt us?  When are we going to stand up and start running? When are we going to stop eating meat injected with more juice than Barry Bonds (allegedly)? This fatso is tired of the pills and the doctors who prescribe them.  These drug companies start where the oil companies end. Every time they fire a drug onto the shelves at your local Walgreens without proper testing, they are in essence bellowing one of my favorite new acronyms, BOHICA (Bend Over, Here It Comes Again).


This Vytorin drug arrived on the market in 2004.  It promised to lower cholesterol. Now, it sounds like snake oil. But, even snake oil couldn’t potentially cause muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness with fever or flu symptoms and dark colored urine; decreased urine or rust-colored urine; or blurred vision. Let’s not overlook some less serious side effects such as stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea; cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose; tiredness; headache; skin rash or itching; joint pain, back pain; and insomnia.


What do fruits, vegetables, and 30 minutes on the elliptical cause?  I forecast no negative side effects, except maybe sore muscles and a more regular schedule.


So, after the oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, and over prescribing doctors are done with us, who is next?  Wait a minute. I think Time Warner Cable just added the BOHICA channel.


My Bar

March 2, 2008

dumbells.jpgdumbells.jpgWhen you are trying to lose weight, many experts will tell you to eat six smaller meals per day.  That was easier said than done until the creation of protein bars. Now, these bars, varying in flavors from cardboard to candy bar, can be found in any drug store or super market.  They have their own row. One bar you won’t find on these shelves is the You Bar.


Californians, Ava Bise, and her son, Anthony Flynn, are mixing a little technology and lots of old fashioned customer service to promote their protein bars.  According to a recent New York Times article, the two began dabbling in the protein bar business ten years ago.  Back then, they were their only customers.  Although the two don’t like to share specific information about sales, they did say sales have doubled each of the last eight months. 

You Bar customers are able to customize bars to fit their tastes.  I visited the site and was amazed.  I could pick ingredients from a list and then calculate my bar’s nutritional information.    I have eaten my fair share of protein bars and some of them taste like a combination of cardboard, chalk, and chocolate.  With each bite, I recalled my mother saying, “You ordered it. You eat it!”  That’s not the case here.  If you order the bars and don’t like them, you can send them back to You Bar.  Then you can go back to the drawing board to alter the ingredients.

Take Flynn’s business and Internet skills, add those to Bise’s earnest approach to customer satisfaction, and you have your bar, the You Bar.  For a price comparable to major brands, it may be well worth the effort.dumbells.jpgdumbells.jpg

Fertilizing New Ground in Employee Fitness

March 1, 2008

Thank you to Bill Sledzik for sharing the Business Week article, Get Healthy—Or Else.  Scotts’ CEO, Jim Hagedorn is snuffing out employees, literally.  In an effort to trim health care costs, Hagedorn has implemented a new fitness program for employees.  I am j0409521.jpgvery impressed.  I have long advocated for an employee fitness program.  However, has Hagedorn stepped over the line?

I think not!  I would love a company that kicked my rear end into shape.  By telling people to quit smoking and lose weight, Hagedorn is cutting his costs and more importantly, adding years to the lives of his employees.  I am not going to give research results.  I know that cigarettes and fried foods are bad.  Why shouldn’t employers want the best for their employees?  Honestly, I would love to see the end of “food days” and birthday cakes at work.  It’s bad enough that I get suckered into buying those Girl Scout cookies and tins of frozen cookie dough.  I spend about half of my awake week at work (try saying that with a mouthful of cookies).  I would be glad to have to answer to someone.  I think I would have an easier time cutting some pounds if the alternative meant taking food off of my children’s plate. 

This article couldn’t have come at a better time.  I have been whining about universal health care since 2004 and then, I heard it.  McCain has not spoken about health care because Republicans feel that people should be accountable for their own fitness.  It was an epiphany for me.  I am not thinking about pledging allegiances to Ann Coulter, but I do feel enlightened.  Why shouldn’t we be accountable?  Why should we pay for those who make poor health choices?  Who is paying for that fat lady to sing? I am fat, mad, and ready for a change! Bring it on!