Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Three Cough Drops Are Not A Snack And Other Terrible “Health” Advice

MYHEAR~1There is so much terrible information being spread about healthcare right now (some coming directly from the “president”) but this mess, found by Beckie H, might take the proverbial cake (Trigger Warning – discussion of food and dieting/disordered eating behaviors)

Three Cough Drops

Here’s the text:

What to do when you’re SICK and want to stay in fat burn

  • Most liquid cold/cough syrups tend to be sweetened with sugar
  • Chose [sic] a capsule or tablet (pill form) when possible
  • Select sugar-free for throat lozenges
  • If you need to have liquid medications, you should consider omitting an optional snack–you may need to watch the addition of any condiments–you may want to try selecting vegetables from the lower and/or moderate carbohydrate sections.
  • Zycam – no carbs so this will NOT take you out of fat burn
  • Hall Cough drops (3 sugar free) = 1 optional snack.
  • Robitussin Sugar-Free Peak Cold cough and chest DM has zero calories and zero carbohydrates.
  • Dayquil capsules are also calorie-free.
  • Mucinex DM is calorie-free
  • Alka seltzer Plus Cold Medicine tablet = one condiment.

Ok, first of all, nobody has to give a shit about staying in “fat burn” ever, and especially not when they’re sick (with a reminder that it’s a near-certainty that they’ll gain all their weight back in a few years anyway so they might as well have that cold medicine.)

There are legitimate reasons to care about some of these things (for example, if someone is dealing with blood sugar issues.) But most of these are ridiculous under any guise. The idea that three sugar-free halls equals an “optional snack” means that the snack was going to be something like a half teaspoon of peanut butter. In what world is 1/2 a teaspoon of peanut butter “optional?” If you’re measuring your food down to the 1/2 teaspoon, none of it should be optional – you’re going to need every last bit of it (which is why this kind of behavior can be so destructive to our relationship with food.) Plus, if your snack was food, it would have some nutritional content  – vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, fat, carbs etc. – whereas three sugar-free halls just have the ability to suppress coughs – an important thing to be sure, but not life-giving. So this is not a reasonable exchange under any circumstances.

The Alka seltzer exchange is equally ridiculous – it only works if your condiment was the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of mustard. If your diet hinges on a teaspoon of mustard, I would advise you to ask some questions as to their long-term success rates (I’d advise this under any circumstances but, I mean, a teaspoon of mustard? Come on.)

Diet advice is essentially completely useless at any time, but when we add diet advice to a time when we’re dealing with other stressors like illness or, say, being stuck at home during a global pandemic, things can get out of hand, people can be misinformed, eating disorders can get triggered, and health can suffer.

Extracting myself from diet culture wasn’t easy, but it has absolutely been worth it in so many ways, many of which are being highlighted now as I’m able to focus on getting through this difficult time, rather than worrying about manipulating my body size.

My heart goes out to everyone who is dealing with diet culture, disordered eating, and eating disorders during this rough time. We can do our part to help by not spreading diet culture crap, and calling it out as dangerous when we see it.

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