Sunday, January 20, 2008

Et tu, Prevention?

It's been a while since this magazine geek has looked at Prevention magazine. What I remember from the last time--maybe 10 years ago--was that Prevention was a pretty good health-related magazine, with in-depth articles, exposés, thoughtful journalism, and some reader service--the tips and tricks kinds of articles.

This evening I looked it up online; I'd been told there was an article in the current issue I should see. I got to Prevention's home page, and was immediately assaulted by the following headlines:

Kick-Start Your Metabolism!
Flat Belly Diet! Tips to Shed Pounds Fast
Eat Chocolate to Lose Weight
Calculate Your BMI
Eat Healthfully and Fight Disease
Heart-Smart Foods
Melt Fat With Every Step
Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 32 Days
Eat Up, Slim Down

Dear editors: There's more to life than obsessing over fat and weight loss. You'd think, reading this page (and this was just the home page--there's more farther in), that losing weight was the only meaningful measure of health.

Seeing it like this was a visceral reminder of our national obsession, and just how unhealthy it is.


Anonymous said...

My mother used to send me articles from Prevention about weight loss for years and years and years. This is nothing new for them, they've just become more out about it.

Anonymous said...

My parents used to get Prevention Magazine back in the 60's & 70's. At that time, it was very alternative minded with articles on organic and natural foods, vitamins, etc. The advertisements lined up along this way of thinking, also. Some stories were about weight loss, but the focus was on healthful eating and living. Not so any more. Prevention now sounds like any other magazine full of trendy advice and officially-approved tips. They even accept ads from the drug companies, which would have been a no-no in the old days. J. I. Rodale must be rolling in his grave. Needless to say, I haven't read Prevention in years.--Joy

Harriet said...

I was remembering the magazine of the late 1970s, I think, which was not nearly as weight-obsessed as today's model. How the mighty have fallen.