I came across an infographic (which you can see below) over the weekend while doing my daily at-work interwebs surfing, and it struck me as ironic. According to research gathered by Mint.com, Americans are spending more on the following “healthier” activities:
- Gym memberships
- Workout DVDs
- Diet foods
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Fruit Juice
We’re also spending less on cigarettes, which I’m glad for, because it’s such a disgusting habit. But at the same time, we’re also spending more on fast food and Type 2 Diabetes and obesity are on the rise. So is all this extra spending helping us? Or is it just a fad?
As I look at the above list of things we’re spending more on, I find it interesting that so many of us think that the solution to our problems is to just throw more money at them. In fact, I think I should start a business of setting up a workout DVD kiosk inside a fast food restaurant, because I’m sure that most people buy those because they feel bad about their habits and they think a DVD is going to motivate them. But changing your behavior only goes skin deep.
According to Statistic Brain, 67% of people with gym memberships never use them. Take a good long look at that number before signing up for one. In reality, you can do just as good of exercises without gym equipment.
Diet food is another interesting market. A common misconception that people have is that diet = healthy. Another one is that because something seems healthier than something else, that makes it healthy. So keep loading your Subway sandwich with ranch dressing and telling yourself it’s better than a Big Mac. Also, next time you’re at the store, take a look at the ingredients of a product that’s fat-free and compare it to its “full flavor” counterpart. They have to replace that fat somehow, and most of the time it’s just chemical fillers that do your body no good. Oh, and it usually costs more. You’re welcome.
Fruit juice isn’t going to help you, either. Have you seen how much sugar is in “fruit juice”? I put quotations around that because what we think is fruit juice is really just concentrated sugar with fruit flavoring. If you want to drink fruit juice, make sure it’s 100% real juice, not from concentrate. They’re tricky about it, so you’ll have to read the fine print. But there’s really no substitute for real fruit. Even with 100% juice, you still miss out on the fiber of real fruit.
Take a look at the infographic. What are your thoughts about the “health movement” that’s happening? Are we getting healthier? Or is it just a waste of money?