Two interesting Spark articles today...and a question
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I have been very impressed with the articles and information in the Sparkpeople.com website. It feels very complete. Today, however, on two separate occasions reading the Spark site, I had some interesting observations(interesting to me, that is).
First, after reading the front page article about the new weight loss pill, which had uninspiring results in tests, I thought long and hard about editorial decisions on Sparkpeople. Is the drug company feeding the web site those stories? If it is, what is Spark's position on promoting diet medication? The pill, Lorcaserin, appeared to help people who used it, but not very much. After one year with the pill 47% of their test group lost 5% of their body weight--about 20 pounds; after 2 years 67% maintained the weight loss for 2 years.
Unimpressive numbers, right? In the story they say that this new diet med has shown that it does not affect the blood pressure or anything heart-related, also noted was that the drug has some kind of relationship with the seratonin in a person's body and implied that "feel-good" from this is a factor in the drug's goodness.
I hope that Sparkpeople is being very careful about the stories they place online because something like this--planted on the Spark site--impacts many people who would do anything to lose weight, including taking some bogus weight loss pill to lose 5% of their bodyweight, which half of them won't sustain for two years,(until it's pulled off the market), making a very nice item for sale (over the counter or perscription, I wonder?). And the Bayers and Bristol Meyers and GlascoSmithKlines of the world are very happy.
Secondly, I read an interesting Spark People "You know you're a Spark Person when..." Top Ten contest. The winning response was "You want a snack but you don't eat one because it is too much trouble to get online and log it." Hilarious! I look around me tonight and see an aluminum water bottle, and I had a healthy dinner and surprisingly healthy snacks and I almost went to bed, but I had to log in my nutrition information, which is always a drag--wish the program could be a little more instantaneous (dang! just remembered that I still haven't put in the fitness information, ugh!). The wonderful winner is a definite follower of the program, and all its wonderful permutations. And, more importantly, I realized by looking at my indoor landscape that I am too!
As long as Sparkguy is being responsible about the choice of information on the site (and I would like to say again how much I enjoy reading the site), and including deep and good content, and not selling editorial space to big drug companies, I am so happy to be a Spark person.