ICB: Magic detox diets - just intoxicating marketing?
Welcome to this week’s I Call Bullshit, a regular column where we pick apart mischievous misrepresentations, balderdash, and outright bunkum. This week, with bulging bellies, blurry brains and labouring livers, we’re taking a look at detox diets.
It’s easy to see the appeal of a detox. You’ve been shovelling twenty kinds of crap into your poor system, you can sense it’s struggling to cope, and you want to turn back the clock.
Like a very Earthly Confession, you want to wipe away your sins with a few Hail Marys, some lemons and dash of cayenne.
Well – guess what? – I Call Bullshit. An entire industry has formed around our yearning for some form of New Year redemption, a lucrative industry that promises to restore you to some pristine, angelic (but entirely imaginary) former self.
Nutrition experts this week ranked the Lemon Detox diet one of the worst fad diets around, followed by the blood-type diet. There are plenty of other dodgy detoxes – from colon cleansing to colour coordinating to chanting mantras while gobbling laxatives.
Some of the worst examples of delusional detoxes went to air on Today Tonight last night.
OK, OK, so we all know current affairs shows can be full of shite (don’t we?). But sometimes it’s hard to work out how the reporter can keep a straight face.
Last night’s episode contained the following gems:
ACUPUNCTURE: There is some evidence that acupuncture is effective in some situations. But does it “flush out toxins and eliminate any blockages of the flow within the body”? No. It doesn’t. I Call Bullshit.
IONIC FOOT SPAS: Woman puts feet in water with small electrical current. Water turns wee-coloured. Foot spa-ologist says it can indicate “liver things or pancreatic things, blood sugar”. I say this indicates “bullshit things”. The claim doesn’t even abide by the laws of physics.
CUPPING: Heat up a glass bulb, creating a vaccuum. Apply to skin. Vaccuum sucks flesh into bulb. Very effective at creating a lovely bruising effect - that’s about it.
SKIN BRUSHING: “It’s just a dry skin brushing and then once you’ve brought the toxins up to the surface of the skin you then have a shower and it helps to just remove the toxins off the surface of the skin”. Really? A cheap brush will just attract these mysterious ‘toxins’ to the surface of the skin? And you just wash it down the drain? Utter, utter, bullshit with not even a passing familiarity with how the body works.
There is no magic way to ‘detox’. The body is an amazing thing with its own processes of elimination. You can help it by not putting crap in there.
You don’t help it by starving it, by overdosing on water, or by putting coffee up your bum.
The best thing you can do is eliminate the marketing from your reading and watching diet.
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