Occasionally, I treat myself to a women’s magazine. Just to kind of prove to myself that I am not missing on good gossip or the latest trends. Is that the kiasu principle?

Last week, I bought what looked like a health magazine. At home, I noticed I had paid $13.90 for it –which I thought was a little expensive. But hey, that’s the impulse buy.

Headlines on the cover: The Crazy LA Diet Coming Your Way, 14-day Belly Shred and, perhaps best of it all, Can you blog yourself slim? Seriously?

I read on. Opened the cover.

Contents. Ah, Eat Smart. Slim Down. Good Looks. Is that what health is about?

Then, there’s ‘Sex and Love’ category. Of course. Oh yes, and the self-help category – Live Well: The Instant Self Improvers.

Instant 14-day diet. I am anticipating the next promise – how ‘effortless’ it is. The promise of a miracle. Too bad they don’t happen that often.

Surely, we all know by now that it takes a sustained effort to switch unhelpful habits to others that do more. Crash diets just don’t work.

But, here we go again: “The Bullet Proof Diet has arrived – The Warrior Weight Loss”. What’s this about? A Silicon Valley multimillionaire, previously obese, stating that processed, high in fat, high in sugar foods are not good for us. Well, at least that’s true.

The real problem is that our food environment does such a good job in covering up what is in the foods, that we somehow miss noticing there are 54.4 grams of sugar in a coffee shop’s strawberry and vanilla frappe, or that two Cadbury Crunchies totals to a store-bought hot chocolate. Good that this was mentioned.

I read on. Advertising: Sexy toned abs in 21 days, guaranteed. On sale now.

Olives. Subheader: They are good for you, with seven olives containing just 37 calories. As if eating was about counting calories. It’s so 80’s.

I do find myself wondering why some publishers do keep serving up this drool.

Why not find a way to sex up the messages instead, such as eat real food, enjoy the best you can afford, enjoy meals with friends and family, eat what you need. Surely, there has to be a celeb that can sell the joy of balance, taste and quality.

Conclusion: Promise me that if you ever see me about to pull out $13.90 at the news stand, direct me instead, to go and a buy few punnets of fresh berries, or a quality piece of salmon, or a top-shelf bottle of extra virgin olive oil.

Published on Executive Lifestyle March 13th, 2015