|How do you launch a “disease” created for no other purpose than to sell drugs that are supposed to treat it?
We “suffer” from seasonal allergies, asthma, seasonal affective disorder, social anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, erectile dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome, dry eye, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraines, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, spectrum disorders, chronic fatigue, restless legs, excessive daytime sleepiness, osteopenia, perimenopause, and lactose intolerance. Many of the new diseases are “imbalances” from a “deficiency” of a drug that Big Pharma makes and we will need them for the rest of our lives, says the marketing.
In addition to taking drugs for diseases (and deficiencies) that barely existed before drug ads, we take drugs to prevent diseases we don’t even have, like thinning bones and cardiovascular diseases.
And despite the wonders of the Western diet, the United States has the least fit people in the world. We develop high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity, diabetes, heartburn, gastroesophageal and reflux disease from junk food–and aching backs, painful joints, poor circulation and sleep apnea from the extra weight it causes. Drugs we’re already taking for “deficiency” diseases add to the obesity and we treat with more drugs for metabolism like statins, “purple pills,” and blood sugar–lowering pills. The food leads us to drugs and the drugs lead us to food, in a vicious cycle.
The TV “teleprompter” telling us to eat junk food is not the only cause of our national obesity. Super sizing, free refills and all-you-can-eat buffets encourage people to get their money’s worth at the price of their waistlines. The family meal, where we learned portion control and restraint, is a dying cultural icon. Size inflation, in which women who were size sevens are now size zeros through no effort of their own, furthers adipose denial. And baggy and low rider urban fashions seldom “don’t” fit.
And there is the ubiquity of snacks themselves. Once upon a time snacks weren’t available in banks, bookstores, body shops, hardware stores and hospitals. When some Europeans visiting a US mall saw people in the “food court,” eating cheese fries at 10:30 in the morning, they asked, “What meal is that?” Good question.
When you consider the toll that cheap food and drugs take on the public health, it is obvious that there is nothing “cheap” about them. The billions that Big Food and Big Pharma make are simply transferred to the cost of treating a nation with chronic, expensive-to-treat and often preventable diseases.
In fact, the junk food and drugs “deficiencies” we’re said to suffer from bring to mind the 1953 song, sung by Burl Ives, “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.”After swallowing a fly, the old lady swallows increasingly larger animals to catch the previously swallowed animal. She swallows a spider to catch the fly, a bird to catch the spider, a cat to catch the bird, a dog to catch the cat, and so on. Every time she swallows a larger animal, the absurdity of her first act is repeated in the chorus: “I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, perhaps she’ll die.” And, in the end, she does. It sounds a lot like US consumers in the age of aggressive junk food and drug advertising.
This is an excerpt from Born With A Junk Food Deficiency.
*** Editor's Commentary: I have heard, from more than one source, but have not been able to verify, that the corporation behind the creation and marketing of 'Twinkies' also produces and markets insulin. It true, you'd really have to admire the forethought - sell them the sickness, then sell them the cure. It's brilliant!
- prh, ed.