Thousands of advertisements pass before our eyes every day promising us to be slimmer, to be more beautiful and to fight wrinkles with miracle creams. A book about this consumer problem alerts us to the lies to which advertising subjects us day after day.
A simple sardine contains the same Omega 3 as six liters of the milk that is sold with this fatty acid. A tetrabrick of juice for children contains an extra energy or what is the same, 30% more added sugars. Diet pills, pills for smoother skin, pills for everything. And lies, many. This is stated in the book by the psychologist Ana Isabel Gutierrez Salegui Consume y Calla (Editorial Akal), in an attempt to unmask an industry that, in addition to profiting from it to unsuspected extremes, bears a good part of responsibility for "diseases of the western society”.
And they do it through tricks that, according to the author to Vozpópuli, what they cause is that "we feel disgusted with our body because they offer us biased information about reality." And it is that, often, the publicity to which the industry subjects us is not entirely true or completely reliable. Gutiérrez Salegui, through the 358 pages of his book, presents a multitude of examples in which he encourages the consumer to stop and think about the ingredients of the products they consume.
"If people understood the scientific method they would discover many of the deceptions."
One of the main reasons why, he says, they deceive us is that "they take advantage of the fact that people do not have scientific knowledge and invent words that even the experts cannot define. "Examples like 'satiactiv', which is nothing," he says, cause people to think that it is something new that has been discovered. Half-truths make the information they hide disappear. "The ads tell a story in a very short time but do not give reliable information."
"The image of success is thinness"
The perspective from which she writes is not that of an advertising person, nor a nutritionist, nor a doctor, but from the point of view she has as an eating disorder psychologist. "Wanting the same body at 15 that at 40 cannot be," he says. So who is interested in us obsessing over this problem? The same companies that sell you hypercaloric snacks also have light products and for weight loss. "The play is round," says the author.
In fact, this week the OCU accused two laboratories of influencing the purchase of a much more expensive product. In OCU's opinion, these two pharmaceutical giants, producers of Avastin and Lucentis, two valid drugs for the treatment of wet macular degeneration, seem to have agreed to artificially differentiate them. Thus, Avastin, the cheapest drug, is presented as a more dangerous product than Lucentis, in order to influence the prescriptions of doctors and health services. Lucentis is 100 times more expensive.
For her part, the author does not bite her tongue and quotes in her dedication to the large food and cosmetic multinationals without which "this book would not have been possible." It is they, precisely, who have a maximum interest in profiting whatever happens. "We forget that the industries are not NGOs and for them the most important thing is the balance sheets", the author confesses to Vozpópuli.
The small print of the clinically tested
Sometimes the creams that are sold claiming to fill in wrinkles are only tested on larvae. “There are no reliable studies; they are opinions. A study of a cream cannot be based on larvae or on 28 people. My skin is not that of a larva”, says the author.
One of the most serious cases he has come across in his research has been a data from centuries ago. “From a cosmetic point of view, I discovered that one make-up made an entire caste disappear, it became extinct. Who tells us that all those things that we throw in our faces cannot mean something in the long term? She wonders, not before warning that she is not a "Taliban" and that she only wants fool people. "
They had to remove the ads claiming that Activia and Actimel help relieve constipation
And there are many traps in the cosmetic industry, Gutiérrez Salegui confirms to this newspaper. Through his study of the tiny print of advertisements, he has found cases that border on illegality. For example, an advertisement for a face cream states that "72% of the people around you will notice your skin younger and revitalized." With this statement, how do you know what people will think?
Although, in principle, it may seem that there is a serious lack of protection against the advertising that bombards us, countries like England or France have been very blunt when it comes to prohibiting certain types of arguments used in their products. Danone, for example, had to remove ads claiming that Activia and Actimel help relieve constipation or are good for the immune system. In the United States, they have been fined 21 million dollars for exaggerating the benefits of both products. And in France, a brand of cereals was convicted of misleading advertising by proving that it was a lie that they had 0% fat.
Getting enough sleep is important for good health. This is why people with poor sleeping habits tend to not live a healthy lifestyle. In fact, studies have suggested that people who are sleep deprived gain weight quicker than those who sleep well. Moreover, getting enough sleep prevents weight gain. Sleep deprivation also lowers the production of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels, both important in sugar control.