Friday, November 26, 2010

List: ‘10 unhealthy health foods’

Today’s ‘List Friday’. Chameleons [1]. I know little of them. But I do know some varieties change colour [2] – to blend with their surroundings. Colour change is also an expression of a chameleon’s physiological condition, and a social signal to other chameleons. But I digress. My point is that changing colour lets a chameleon appear something it’s not. Similar to what a hypocrite does. Folks, everything isn’t always as it seems. That’s so with food healthiness too. Naturally (pun intended) some foods are unhealthy – as even the proverbial drover’s dog [3] knows. But other foods conjure up perceptions of healthiness that are false. Today’s list, from Yahoo!7, is ‘10 unhealthy health foods’ [4]. I know food healthiness is a continuous variable and not a binary (i.e. yes or no) one. Before I read this list I thought seven of the ten were up the healthy end; and three (i.e. muesli bars, granola and muffins) were less healthy. So this list has changed my perception of the healthiness of the other seven. Okay then. But what interests me more is how all ten came to receive their healthiness reputation. Smart marketing, maybe. Or a focus on some ingredients whilst ignoring others. Who knows? I don’t. Anyway no food is 100% healthy. But it makes intuitive sense to eat foods near the spectrum’s healthy end. Though the occasional lapse is unlikely to be detrimental.

P.S. h/t Sweetheart Vivienne for sending me today’s list.

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