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Biased Information In My Face

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Our YMCA has recently changed to Precor equipment and updated the treadmills, elliptical trainers, and stationery bikes. Each of them have a TV screen. Yesterday I really enjoyed my run while watching the Westminister Dog Show rerun. Today I did a 10 minute elliptical training warm up before doing my personal training strength session. I have tried the bikes, too.

On the old equipment you could watch the closed caption TVs, but they were in the background. Now they are right in your face and I have mixed feeling about them:

I shouldn't act like I don't watch TV at home, because I do. But I rarely sit and watch it. I'm cleaning house or exercising or Sparking while it is on. I rarely give it my full attention, and when my hubby is watching, he regularly records what he wants to see and then fast forwards through the commercials. So I haven't paid attention to commercials much recently until the new cardio equipment arrived at the gym.

Some of the commercials have me shaking my head. Two of the most flagrant were:

1. A Multi-grain Cheerios ad says that people who eat more whole grains weigh less, when their multi-grain cereal has a lot more sugar in it than the regular Cheerios. Regular Cheerios are 100 calories and 1 gram of sugar for a cup, if I remember right. Multigrain Cheerios are 3/4 of a cup for a serving and the same or more calories and several times the sugar.

2. Centrum vitamins advertise that their vitamins were used in a recently released study as if that is some big accomplishment. I remember reading here on SP that the study determined no benefit to taking the vitamins.

It makes me extra thankful that SparkPeople exists to give us unbiased information about products we use to improve our health and fitness. Thanks, SparkPeople!!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    very good
    1585 days ago
    Has anyone figured out how much we are paying to have all those commercials beamed into our homes through the cable and internet connections? To say nothing of my cell phone. I have 4 ads waiting for me in my go phone from a satellite provider. If I answer them, I have to pay for phone usage that day.
    1589 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Yes those ads are bad..promising the world without any effort. Yet they are mking tons of money. Thank heavens for Spark People.
    1589 days ago
  • DR1939
    That's why I love my DVR--no commercials, no nutty information.
    1590 days ago
    Wow! I am a no-TV person (at my gym, leave the TV off and generally read on the elliptical or listent to iPod or both) but this is kinda disturbing.
    1590 days ago
    Very good! The diet scam is one of the biggest.
    1590 days ago
    Love that you look between the lies to percieve the lies in commercials.

    Not health related, but one of my favorites to hate are car commercials. There is just too much to list. But, one of the latest favorites is:

    "Buy a new car and we will pay off your loan on your old car and lower your current car payments, if we can come to terms!" Well, duh. You can marry my daughter. I will give you the mortgage to my home, and all my personal property - "If we can come to terms". This commercial airs locally every day in Orlando, FL

    And how about - "we guarantee payments as low as 150 dollars a month" Duh, again. How much do I have to put down? They might as well say "payments of 25 cents a month" Of course - it depends on the down payment - is the upspoken truth.

    Thanks for the great blog.

    1590 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    Interesting view, Marsha!
    1591 days ago
    So true you cannot believe everything they say omcommercials or in the news sometimes. It is all biased one way or another.
    1591 days ago
    Let the buyer beware! Some of the ads are appalling!
    1591 days ago
  • FROSTY99
    I hardly ever watch a commercial-hate it when someone asks me about them-we watch mostly recorded shows!
    1591 days ago
    1984 is here!
    1592 days ago
    Applause for being a discerning watcher! In the car I enjoy arguing out loud with the radio!
    1592 days ago
    emoticon I am so used to 'Tuning Out' the wild Health Claims on Commercials that I barely notice them even when I am watching them with ear phones plugged in on the Exercise Machine ( My Gym also has some Precor Equipment).

    emoticon The funniest thing is that I will go much longer than I plan to on the Treadmill or Bike in order to watch the end of a True Crime Mystery/Murder Story -- Something I seldom ever watch at home, LOL!!!
    1592 days ago
  • DRB13_1
    how observant! sometimes i record a show to watch while on my elliptical, and forward through the ads, too. On FB, when they put up an ad, I often click it off and put the reason as "misleading" - especially all those folks who try to use Dr. Oz's name without being authorized.
    Best of all for me is to put on my favorite Pandora music station and move to the beat. emoticon Helps me go farther than I would have otherwise.
    1592 days ago
    I agree! It is so sad when we have to question everything all the time. What ever happened to honesty and integrity?
    1592 days ago
    emoticon Biased information all over the place - Dr. Oz is another great source of it. I don't watch him either.
    1592 days ago
    Believe little that you see on TV, it is all about the dollar and they want yours!
    1592 days ago
    I'm not a huge tv watcher, either (I use dvr for the news and a few fave shows) but I do like it at the gym as it makes an hour fly by- I channel surf while changing up the intensity on whatever equipment I'm on that day.
    Commercials are ridiculous!

    1592 days ago
    Commercials are VERY annoying!!
    1592 days ago
    I don't think I could actually get a good workout if there was a tv in my face. I might glance at the tv way across the room from time to time but it's nice to not have those distractions. My workout time is for me and and my sweat.
    1592 days ago
    Can you turn it off??! If not, that would be reason for ME to reconsider my membership in that particular gym. I'd rather read or listen to music while working out on an elliptical or treadmill.
    1592 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I don't watch TV except at my Mom's then my step dad's favorite is the news or America's Funniest Videos (which I don't mind) but I am usually Sparking or reading instead of watching. Machines with TV's will never happen in the public facilities I frequent, and thats a good thing. I prefer rousing workout music myself. I have always heard how Cheerios really was the best choice for a cereal, its my brother's favorite and the only healthy thing he eats. I liked the sugar drenched shreddies myself, and at leat loved frozen blueberries on them -they made the milk freeze which was neat. I will certainly never pay any attention to advertising and as for research articles -always look to see who helped to fund them..You must look at most things with a jaded eye these days. And it always seems they keep changing their minds about whats good and what isn't as well.
    Way to go with the exercise and enjoy the new machines!
    1592 days ago
    Going to the gym is great. Now you can watch TV. It will make the time go faster. You won't be bored. You are going to end happy and feel well with exercise you did. COngrats!
    1592 days ago
    Watching a show makes my time go by faster while on the treadmill.
    1592 days ago
    Vitamins can sometimes help with a lacking here or there but I agree a daily regiment is not needed as they preach for sure. So true on the commercials ..The people making them most times know very little about the products.
    1592 days ago
    You are so right. You have to be cautious of information in commercials.
    1592 days ago
    It's nice that you can watch the show you want to watch rather than having to endure what somebody has already selected on the big gym TV.
    Biased....that's advertising for you.
    1592 days ago
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