Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Does VitaminWater Prevent the Flu?

February 3, 2011 Leave a comment

That is what an advertisement for vitaminwater is suggesting.

The ad has raised the concern of the National Consumers League (NCL), which has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

They state that the poster advertisement, as well as a TV commercial for vitaminwater give false statements concerning the efficacy of vitaminwater for preventing the flu.

In the TV ad, a cartoon woman brags about how she can use her sick days to hang out with her boyfriend because she drinks vitaminwater. A transcript of the commercial goes like this:

I love skipping work, especially when I’m feeling great.  Layin’ in my pj’s searching Netflix for a guilty pleasure marathon.  And since it’s Friday, I’ve got a nice little three-day staycation package.  One of my secrets?  vitaminwater power-c.  It’s got vitamin C and zinc to help support a healthy immune system.  So I can stay home with my boyfriend – who’s also playing hooky. What a coincidence.

The NCL’s letter to the FTC states their concern:

The Commission should immediately take enforcement action to halt such claims because such misinformation constitutes an imminent public health hazard.  Discouraging members of the public from getting a flu shot as recommended by government health authorities is not only deceptive, but dangerous.

They go on to talk about how vitaminwater projects an image of a healthy beverage, yet it still contains a decent amount of sugar and has 125 calories per serving.

Oh, did I mention that there is no conclusive scientific evidence that increased Vitamin C or Zinc intake can prevent contracting influenza?

The letter cites precedent of other lawsuits for similar complaints in which the FTC ruled that there was indeed false and misleading statements. Those cases have many things in common with the NCL’s complaints about vitaminwater.

As reported by the Boston Globe, a spokesperson for Glaceau, the manufacturer of vitaminwater (and a Coca-Cola subsidiary) responded to the complaints:

vitaminwater has always had a fun, humorous, and engaging personality — and our ads reflect that.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting the impression that vitaminwater is more concerned with producing a good-tasting, trendy beverage that makes money than with the health of its consumers.

It reminds me a bit of Sunny Delight, which advertised itself as a healthy drink for kids, when really it has as much sugar as soda and is merely spiked with a couple of vitamins.

I have tried some vitaminwater drinks, and they do taste pretty good. I can’t say that I felt any healthier, although some of my college friends claimed that it was great for relieving hangovers.

Of course there is no scientific data to back me up, but it sounds like an over-hyped placebo effect to me.


January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Want to make your day better? Watch Spock say “fascinating” 46 times in 91 seconds.

CBC Marketplace Crushes Homeopathy

January 15, 2011 6 comments

Homeopathy is bull. 100% pure organic bull.

And for once, reality TV delivered everything I had hoped for.

An episode of CBC’s Marketplace aired tonight puts homeopathy to the test. I watched it, and I still can’t believe how happy I was with the episode.

I was expecting some science with mostly woo trying to make a “balanced” view for the story. Boy was I pleasantly surprised.

In this weeks episode, CBC Marketplace host Erica Johnson heads out to try and find the evidence of efficacy behind homeopathy. What she finds is excuses, loopholes and shrugging shoulders.

One homeopath even went so far as to warrant the treatment of stage 1 breast cancer with homeopathy. A claim met with (unexpected) skepticism from this TV show. How does it work? “We’re not really sure” she replied. Are you freakin’ kidding me!?!

The episode also featured a piece about a group from the Canadian group from the Centre for inquiry, a skeptic group, who went outside a Vancouver hospital and purposefully overdosed on a variety of homeopathic medicines. The result? Yeah they’re fine.

But as one of them pointed out, the real tragedy would be if someone gave their child homeopathic medicines instead of real medicine. In fact, homeopaths are selling “vaccines” for a huge range of diseases, including whooping-cough and, yes even polio. Are you freakin’ kidding me!?!

Homeopathic remedies have no active ingredient. None, whatsoever. They have been diluted to the point that no single pill has any active ingredient in them. To think that these pills could actually have any effect on the body is ludicrous. Yet because of tradition, these medicines have been given credence and even legitimacy by the Canadian government.

It is incredibly irresponsible of our government to give this kind of credibility to a product that, well, has no credibility! Its crap!

Homeopathy has been debunked time, and time, and time again. It has no credible science behind it, no logic behind it, and now it doesn’t even have the CBC behind it (whom I have criticized of late).

So great job CBC. Hopefully Ontario takes the hint and will get rid of its plans to regulate the sale of homeopathic medicine and call it “witchcraft” like the British government.

Update: You can now watch the full CBC Marketplace episode of  “Cure or Con” here.

Penn & Teller’s ‘Bulls#$%’ Take on the Anti-Vaxxers!

August 12, 2010 Leave a comment

If you are lucky enough to have Showtime, check out Penn & Teller’s ‘Bullshit’ tonight at 10 pm ET. Here is the episode description:

In the Season 8 finale, vaccination is considered modern medicine’s greatest weapon against disease but thanks to pseudo-science and public gullibility, the debate over vaccination safety rages on.

Gotta love these guys!

Carl Sagan on Family Guy

July 14, 2010 2 comments

So, the last few days I’ve noticed a lot of people posting this Carl Sagan video:

I love Carl Sagan, so I thought I would share one of my favourite moments involving the famous scientist. His appearance on Family Guy: