You might consider yourself in good health, but you’re probably just uninformed. With the range of conditions, deficiencies and disorders available to us spreading like blood on a tissue, the odds that you really are well must be diminishing. 

Look at me, look at me, look at me. Photo: Herald Sun

If you haven’t even found a puny food intolerance to call your own, you could be letting developments in the health and wellbeing industry pass you by. 

Anxiety, tiredness and bloating can no longer be dismissed as part of our human condition, although that is chronic. They are symptoms in search of a diagnosis.

Similarly trouble getting out of bed in the morning, or functioning at work should not be simply attributed to tedious work duties or an accumulation of insufferable knobs in one’s workplace. These experiences have a medical explanation. And we need to look deep inside ourselves for the answers.

The good news is that the path out of ignorance is close at hand.  As the wellbeing industry explodes it’s producing a wealth of readily accessible information. This information is oozing like fish oil through television, print media and the web. 

Medical graduates concerned that they are perhaps too well groomed and attractive for actual medical practice can now seek work on the small screen. And members of the public too engrossed in colonic detoxificaton programs to leave home can rest assured that they will no longer need to get off the couch to be able to diagnose their problems.

“The Doctors” TV show has dedicated itself to alerting you to “the health dangers that you never even knew were making you fat, tired and sick”. Which only leaves the question of whether we will respond to these new dangers by avoiding them, or by relentlessly pursuing them, in the way we pursue so many of the dangers we have always known were making us fat, tired and sick.

If you’re not completely comfortable with the reliability of television medicine, you can always turn to journals and the traditional comfort of the printed word.  You will not need to look far for one of these magazines because health and wellbeing titles are spreading across the magazine stand like tinea. 

If you’re male it will be easy to identify a health and wellbeing publication with your interests at heart. You may have already noticed the magazine cover showing a DD girl wearing a AA bikini and accessorizing with ammunition. This means you are close.  Now look for a cover with a hairless male. 

The hairless male is the totem animal of the health and wellbeing industry. You can consider one of these depilated demi-gods a sure sign that you have found either the health magazine that you were looking for, or some quality gay porn.

A woman’s search for a health and wellbeing magazine is a little more involved. It is also allegorical. You need to go beyond fashion, but not quite as far as craft.  Be on the lookout for a cover showing a woman with a happy yet vacant expression.  Her expression might be suggestive of inner peace, or of the cerebral atrophy induced by a lifetime of pilates. 

In any case, the look of the health and wellbeing cover girl will be quite distinct from the expression of a fashion cover girl.  The fashion cover girl promises, arachnid like, to have wild sex with you, right before she consumes you.

Whereas the health and wellbeing cover girl only promises to let you have your way with her gluten-free muffins.

If you haven’t got time to pick up a magazine, and employment is inhibiting your access to daytime TV, edification is still at your fingertips. Simply google your symptoms at work. 

After you have perused a few of these sources of information you will know better than to persist with any eccentric pretensions of wellness. Which is just as well, because such quaint notions sure can make you sound ignorant.

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST.

Most commented


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    • Kerryn says:

      07:10am | 26/09/12

      Apart from being very sensitive to caffiene (which I could have but let’s face it, all it does is increase my heart rate and make me feel stressed, and I’m sure that’s what it does to most people) I’m completely allergy-free and fighting fit.  Exercise and good diet do that.  Mmmm, banana and cornflakes (but they have to be Sanitarium, not Kelloggs, because the Kelloggs ones are bland).

      Except this thing called “work”, I have a pretty severe allergy to that.

    • Mahhrat says:

      07:50am | 26/09/12

      We used to call them snake oil merchants, you know…

    • Alfie says:

      08:07am | 26/09/12

      The dreaded hypochondria is spreading to neurotic proportions within the younger generations. Symptoms are generally associated with BF/GF issues, periods, or any other drama (up to, and including a broken fingernail). All of these can lead to needing extended time off work and demanding automatic sympathy and attention from everyone around. Recommended cure: patient needs to be told to grow TF up.

    • Mack says:

      09:11am | 26/09/12

      Exactly, Alfie. Two generations ago, 14 year old boys (usually after a falling out with their father) left home and made their way in the world. One generation ago, at 21 you were generally mature enough to get married and start a family. This generation is still at home sponging off mum and dad until they’re in their 30’s. Pathetic really. Each successive generation is becoming softer and more selfish.

    • Kika says:

      09:59am | 26/09/12

      Agree with Mack - my Grandfather was married with a young son at 21. Most young men are still considered children at 21 these days. I blame university education being pushed by schools as being mandatory - studying keeps the brain young, and therefore kids are less inclined (and too busy) to think about setting themselves up to be independant until they are much older these days.

    • HC says:

      12:14pm | 26/09/12

      Ahem you old fogies, I made my own way pretty much from 15 onwards and I’m in this current generation though it sure as hell isn’t easy with community services do-gooders sticking their noses in etc.

      You lament the softness of the current generation but this current generation all has parents and grandparents who are primarily responsible for shaping us this way.  So if we’re a lousy whiny lot (and I agree many of my generation are) then it’s probably because we had/have pretty ordinary parents and grandparents.

    • Dan The Man says:

      12:15pm | 26/09/12

      and here we go with the education bashing again. two generations ago you could also realistically buy a house on a single wage and have progressive job prospects without a university degree or other qualification. @kika did you ever stop to think that becoming educated is also a way to become ‘set up’ and independent? probably not, because you are clearly too busy being intimidated by tertiary qualified people and living in a 1930s timewarp to think that tertiary qualifications may be of any necessity in the current day and age. Other countries don’t have this rough attitude to the pursuit of education, just Australia, and its bloody shameful.

    • Lorraine says:

      05:01pm | 26/09/12

      For HC.
      You have done what your generation often does, blamed your forebears for your inadequacies, if you have them.
      Take responsibillity and give the community service people a miss.

    • Sarah says:

      08:10am | 26/09/12

      I have absolutely no allergies. I happily eat wheat and other gluten-rich grains, dairy, sugar, eggs, the works. Never had a bad reaction to anything. If I feel bloated it’s probably because I ate too much or sat around without exercising for too many days.
      So, allergic to nothing. I’ve never visited a naturopath, either. I bet that there’s a correlation.

    • Philip Crooks says:

      08:40am | 26/09/12

      I to have never been to a naturopath but my doctor told me I had IRB. And for over a decade I suffered a lot. I was told by a relative to avoid bread, I did and felt better but to be a little scientific I ate some bread and all the very painful symptoms of IRB returned.
      Yes there are some fakers out there but there are genuine sufferers as well. I think you have lost your bet.

    • Michael says:

      09:47am | 26/09/12

      Have your blood tested Sarah it is possible that you will have mild reactions to some things, latent allergies that cause inflammation or irritation rather than full blown anaphylaxis.

    • HC says:

      12:22pm | 26/09/12

      Lol I love it how people are giving poor Sarah here suggestions on how to be sick smile

      Hypochondriacs are almost as funny as doomsayers

    • Anne71 says:

      12:51pm | 26/09/12

      Allergies do exist, Sarah. Two of my sisters and one of my friends have medically-diagnosed gluten allergies. They’re certainly not imagining it, nor are they doing it because gluten allergies are SO hot right now! wink

      It’s probably wise, however, if initially “diagnosed” by a naturopath to get a second opinion from a doctor, as many naturopaths seem to consider wheat and dairy to be the root of all evil.

    • Lorraine says:

      06:00pm | 26/09/12

      If only people realised that allergies and intolerances are liabilities rather then assets then maybe there would not be so many who make a claim on them.

    • Faye says:

      08:11am | 26/09/12

      I have some pretty out there allergies, and a few other legitimate health problems. I always feel really embarrassed and uncomfortable if I have to mention them, like I’ve somehow done something wrong. Every once in a while I give myself a swift mental kick and wonder why I should, when I didn’t ask for or cause these problems. Then I read smug, self righteous articles like this and am reminded of the sheer ignorance and judgement bandied about unthinkingly by those with little or no medical knowledge.

    • David Frost says:

      08:46am | 26/09/12

      Get a life Faye and get some proper medical help. The article was brilliant and directed at you.

    • Greg says:

      09:10am | 26/09/12

      The article was hardly a go at people with genuine issues, but a dig at the plethora of wankers out there looking for any excuse for their magical self diagnosed ailments.

      In the information age it’s far to easy for people to google a few symptoms and draw their own conclussions.

      I just entered in
      tired sore back headache runny nose

      crap the 5th result says those are all symptoms of malaria, thus the panic merchant deduces that they have malaria without ever seeing a doctor

    • hermano says:

      09:28am | 26/09/12

      Missing the point: this is not having a go at those with legitimate allergies, but at those who don’t.

    • Anne71 says:

      12:55pm | 26/09/12

      Faye, you’re taking this a little personally, don’t you think? The article was not targeting those with genuine allergies, just those who seem to think that a self-diagnosed and most likely imaginary gluten/dairy/peanut/oxygen allergy makes them “interesting”.

    • Lill says:

      01:18pm | 26/09/12

      Agreed Faye. Allergies suck. I have a pile of them, all medically confirmed, including allergies to certain medications. I get where the writer is coming from but it makes those of us who do have a diagnosed problem look like we are just in it for the sympathy.

    • Null and Void says:

      08:29am | 26/09/12

      I’m only allergic to wankers but since they’re not edible I think I’m pretty safe.

    • Mouse says:

      09:39am | 26/09/12

      hahahahaha, there is sooooo much I could say to this comment but, alas, none of it would get printed! lol :o)

    • Steve says:

      08:34am | 26/09/12

      Health and wellbeing is the new spiritualism for the 21st century.

    • Joan Bennett says:

      08:37am | 26/09/12

      It’s because they are having to use stronger pesticides (pests build a resistance) that we are getting more intolerances.  I’ve been eating organic for years and when I suddenly started buying regular stuff from the supermarket, I found I had problems.  Only put it down to the chemicals when I went back to organic and symptoms almost disappeared.  Pity as it cost me all this time and money going to a specialist.  I could have just returned to food not grown with poison…

    • shinydonkey (not a conventional farmer) says:

      10:59am | 26/09/12

      Right.  I’m going to hit you with science.  Hard.  Organic growers DO use pesticides and fertilisers, and these products are poisonous.  Their only stipulation is that they are derived from something that was once living.  Unlike conventional agriculture, there are no stringent regulatory standards to ensure safety. The products they use are NO SAFER and in many cases demonstrably less safe than the products used in conventional agriculture.  The use of untreated organic fertilisers results in an eight-fold increase in E Coli contamination relative to conventional fertilisers, and that’s just one example.  Worker exposure to ‘safe’ organic farming products in South and Central America (to supply the Nth American market, which, ironically, is dominated by conventional agricultural producers pursuing a highly lucrative niche market) sees a lot of preventable occupational illness.

      Sorry, but the whole organic movement is a con to separate the gullible from their dosh.  The food is not more nutritious, it’s more land, water and energy intensive to produce and the icing on the cake is that it’s more expensive.  A lot more.

      BTW if you’re concerned about any residual pesticide on your veg, organic or otherwise, try washing them before you eat them.

    • Shane* says:

      11:43am | 26/09/12

      Joan, you just got BURNED!

    • food scientist says:

      05:20pm | 26/09/12

      Organic farming uses many extremely toxic natural pesticides such as nicotine and rotonene (extracted from derris roots).

      Many of the most dangerous substances on Earth are 100% natural including venoms, radium, botilinum toxins, cigateura and sodium fluoroacetate (1080).

    • MattC says:

      08:42am | 26/09/12

      Good article Amy, nice to start the day with a laugh. Reminds me of the lyrics to a song called “Underwear Goes Inside The Pants” by Lazyboy:

      You know we have more prescription drugs now
      Every commercial that comes on TV is a prescription drug ad.
      I can’t watch TV for four minutes without thinking I have five serious diseases.
      Like: “Do you ever wake up tired in the morning?”
      Oh my god I have this, write this down. Whatever it is, I have it.
      Half the time I don’t even know what the commercial is:
      people running in fields or flying kites or swimming in the ocean.
      I’m like that is the greatest disease ever. How do you get that?
      That disease comes with a hot chick and a puppy.

    • kate says:

      09:00am | 26/09/12

      There’s nothing like the combination of arrogance and ignorance to get your blood boiling. Just be glad that you don’t suffer from a health problem related to food intolerance and sensitivity, as the science is in its infancy and the medical world largely ignores it as it isn’t profitable for drug companies, and then there’s the ’ if you can’t see it then it doesn’t exist’ bonehead theory that millions of people with invisible symptoms have to suffer from.
      Gastroenterologists are only now starting to look into the relationship between small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and autism, and the many immuno-neurological diseases out there. Perhaps you could grow a brain, and show some interest, or at least some sympathy, instead of mocking those who suffer. It wasn’t that long ago that mental illness was treated with such distain.

    • Kika says:

      09:56am | 26/09/12

      It’s really interesting isn’t it. They used to think babies were clean slates when it came to intestinal gut bacteria but now we now they born with their own set of gut germs.  My friends have had AMAZING results with probiotics.

    • shinydonkey says:

      11:13am | 26/09/12

      Not profitable for drug companies, but a boon for the multi-billion dollar alternative health/gluten-free industry, peddling unnecessary diets, natural therapies and other vials of assorted snake oil . . . ?  Much?  Give me a break.  If there’s anything to get the blood boiling, it’s the pervasiveness and sheer ridiculousness of this medico-pharma conspiracy theory claptrap.

      BTW - how is ANYONE expected to diagnose the ‘invisible’ symptoms that so many millions are allegedly suffering with?  Weird.

    • HC says:

      01:03pm | 26/09/12

      Lol @ the “invisible symptoms” line.

      Um I hate to point out the painfully obvious but invisible symptoms are not symptoms at all.  If they can not be measured with any accuracy then they simply don’t exist (see Heisenburg’s Uncertainty Principle) or at the very least are not worth bothering about until they present themselves as visible symptoms.  And your analogy of mental illness is wrong since mental illnesses generally present clear symptoms.

      One of the greatest ironies of the 21st century is that this “wellbeing” industry spends millions convincing people to think they are sick in order to make them “feel” better.

    • Greg says:

      09:04am | 26/09/12

      “Similarly trouble getting out of bed in the morning, or functioning at work should not be simply attributed to tedious work duties or an accumulation of insufferable knobs in one’s workplace.”

      I’m definitely using the insufferable knobs line, hilarious.

      Used to live with a girl like this though she claimed to be celiac , never got it checked out properly just claimed she didn’t feel well if she ate bread.
      And she used to boil this horrible muck in a kettle that looked like grass clippings and sticks and stunk the house out like sewerage because some place on the internet said it would make her feel better if she drank it.
      Needless to say my mate and I were close to killing her when she finally moved out.

    • Pedro says:

      09:14am | 26/09/12

      Love the caption photo of the lovely lady gazing wantonly at the veggies, is that Kate’s sister?

    • che says:

      09:23am | 26/09/12

      This is hilarious, so true.

      I have a friend who has suddenly decided that she is allergic to gluten, because when she eats four pieces of toast and a huge bowl of pasta, she feels bloated. What a shock! So funny.

    • Dominic says:

      09:24am | 26/09/12

      Love the article - oh so true.  It must be tempered with recognition of those like my daughter who has been diagnosed, by a paediatric gastroenterologist via endoscopy, as a coeliac.  People who have legitimate allergies deserve support and sympathy.  People who are following the latest fad do not.

    • Jackie says:

      09:41am | 26/09/12

      I never believed I had any allergies and always ate what I wanted, however in December last year I got a mother of a tummy ache and vomited twice , the ache would not go away. A friend who is lactose intolerant suggested I give up milk, (I am a three serves of dairy person for years and love yoghurt) I gave it up for a week, and lo and behold felt the difference straight away. felt lighter in my stomach, ache was gone in a day and I even lost hunger pangs and started losing weight as well. I checked the internet as well and realized that you can grow lactose intolerant at any stage of your life cycle. Not saying I am a believer in all the supplements out there, but did realize that there may be some truth to it.

    • Sahara says:

      10:32am | 26/09/12

      Surely this is a troll? It’s so moronic it just can’t be true

      OK for years, ate something once and felt ill and self diagnosed lactose intolerance.

      This is exactly the type of idiot people are sick of

    • Peter J says:

      11:17am | 26/09/12

      Sahara. It really shows ignorance on your behalf. It’s much more common than you think.

      Something similar happened to me. I was completely normal one day, then had an awful stomach bug and never recovered. Now gluten and lactose intolerant.

      Specialists know very little about such ailments.. Although the evidence is coming in. In my case, I simply believe that in getting the bug, my immune system is now overactive, and see’s gluten as the enemy. I don’t think Lactose is the same mechanism, and I have no idea why, however it’s quite obvious that the lactose intolerant produce less lactase than others.

      And as to how you know you are gluten and lactose intolerant. It’s quite simple…remove those from my diet, i’m great. As soon as I eat them, I get sick. Correlation does not always equal causation, however when you do this enough times(I’m constantly challenging myself with gluten and dairy-god knows why-might be something about wanting to be normal), it’s a pretty convincing argument that these are my problems.

    • bael says:

      01:32pm | 26/09/12

      Allergies and intolerances can be aqquired any time in a persons life.
      Trust me, I’m an asthmatic

    • Peter J says:

      02:22pm | 26/09/12

      Sahara. You obviously have a very particularly narrow view of this issue because(I imagine) you haven’t had any experience with it. So i’d suggest you can’t be convinced to change your worldview, which is fine.

      That said, it’s quite arrogant to suggest this problem does not exist because the medical community does not yet have the ability to diagnositically diagnose the problem. Take a look at H pylori and stomach ulcers. Prior to this the medical establishment had a completely different view of how stomach ulcers occured.

      Let me also ask you this. At what point do you determine that self diagnosis goes from a fad to an actual real issue. If an individual is healthy, day in, day out, and they injest gluten, and get nausea, diahorrea and bloating every time they ingest gluten. How many times that have to occur before you would be convinced something is going on? I get the impression that you could not be convinced- unless a doctor signs it on a piece of paper. That’s how the majority of people who have a real intolerance come to that conclusion(I did a food diary with symptoms for 6 months to get to the bottom of it) Spend some time actually thinking about it.

    • sami says:

      02:38pm | 26/09/12

      Sahara, it’s quite common with dairy.

      I stopped eating/drinking dairy products for a while after being a big consumer of them my whole life. Went back to it only to find it now gives me stomach ache, bloating, stabbing pains and nausea. It’s fairly immediate. I didn’t even know this was possible so to say I’m making shit up seems pretty weird.

      And self diagnosing a dairy intolerance isn’t dangerous so even if someone is wrong, it won’t hurt them. Why would I go to the dr to properly diagnose it? It’d just cost me money and time and I’d get a bit of paper that no one would give a toss about, myself included. Easier to just avoid dairy. Problem solved.

    • Sahara says:

      03:20pm | 26/09/12

      Nine in ten Britons who believe they have a food allergy or intolerance are actually perfectly healthy, researchers say.

      So don’t argue with me take it up with the people who have actually done the research

      one in five claim an intolerance but the number that actually do is only one in fifty.

      For instance, some may stop eating wheat when in fact they are suffering from a bowel condition called coeliac disease. If the complaint is not diagnosed or treated it can raise the risk of other health problems including brittle bones in old age.

      Dr Carina Venter, a dietician who specialises in allergies, said: ‘Our concern is that people are self-diagnosing allergies which is very unreliable and could even mask a different illness which would remain undiagnosed and untreated.’

      Cutting wheat out of the diet could lead to a deficiency in B vitamins, while avoiding dairy products will lower levels of calcium, vital in maintaining strong bones, she added.

      If it’s not bad enough for a doctor to diagnose I’m happy to put you in with the other 17 hypochondriacs.

    • iansand says:

      09:47am | 26/09/12

      A good set of allergies, ideally had by your children, is a must have fashion accessory.  What else can you talk about in the playground while waiting for your kids?

      And with this new theory that allergies may be caused by excessive cleanliness, a child without allergies is an admission that your house is filthy.

    • Kika says:

      09:53am | 26/09/12

      The organic and nutrition mafia is an extension of this foodie snobbery that’s all the rage these days. It usually goes hand in hand. It just seems strange that the focus on prenatal diet and not eating or drinking anything except water has coincided with the increases in childhood allergies. Think about what our mothers and grandmothers ate while pregnant compared to now and it speaks for itself. But the paranoia about listeria and other things is just ridiculous. Being pregnant myself I completely know what this is like - it’s terrifying and you over think everything. Far out, it’s tough.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      10:34am | 26/09/12

      Pregnant!! Congratulations, Kika! Fantastic news!!!

    • Elphaba says:

      10:47am | 26/09/12

      Congrats, btw. grin

    • Amastaycia says:

      12:50pm | 26/09/12

      I agree Kika, I’m pregnant myself, and seriously got to the point one day researching on the net what not to eat that i’m pretty sure if I followed them all I wouldn’t be reating anything at all. At some point you need to use your common sense - dont eat raw chicken, etc but seriously people not eating vegetables because they may be contaiminated with feaces. . . WASH THEM DAMMNIT ... no wait the water might be contaiminated to!! ... you have to wonder?!?!?

    • Mouse says:

      04:51pm | 26/09/12

      Congrats Kika!
      Try not to over think everything, I know it’s hard but you will get through it with flying colours! lol Enjoy your pregnancy and I am sure that you pre-preggers diet was good, so just continue with it. There may be some things that you no longer like, some things you didn’t like that you may now, it’s OK, go with it.  Just enjoy your time being pregnant and with hubby, it’s an exciting time for both of you.
      We expect updates from time to time too!  :o)

    • Kate says:

      06:00pm | 26/09/12

      I agree Kika. I know someone who was recently pregnant and had a list of ‘foods to avoid’ about a metre long. It put me right off the idea of pregnancy but I think she was being really paranoid. As long as you aren’t smoking a pack a day and sculling vodka by the bottle I’m sure you’ll be fine!

    • Cate says:

      09:54am | 26/09/12

      This article is really demeaning to those of us who have genuine allergies / digestive conditions.  It encourages people to assume that everyone who has such a condition is merely one of those who ‘claim’ to have it.  You really need to articulate more clearly that your sentiments are aimed at hypochondriacs, not those with a genuine condition.  And if you’re after a reason why many people who were formerly told they had ‘garden variety IBS’ or ‘bad digestion’ now have named conditions, it’s because medical advances now allow doctors to identify the root cause of an issue, and to advise patients on steps they can take to avoid symptoms.  Which is a hell of a lot more helpful than simply saying ‘you have bad digestion, too bad’. 

      Thanks for encouraging others to look at sufferers with derision rather than understanding.

    • Elphaba says:

      10:08am | 26/09/12

      My aunt has Coeliac Disease and once she was diagnosed, the push was on to get all of us tested.  Mum flatly refused to allow us kids to be tested, because she thought it was unnecessarily invasive.

      I eat bread and pasta like it’s going out of style, so I think I’m ok.  Occasionally I feel a bit bloated, but like someone further up said, it’s overindulging and skipping exercise that causes it.

      I think there are some legitimate food allergies, but there are also a lot of people peddling absolute bullsh!t because they’re in the business of relying on gullible people who think they are sick.

      So long as they eat the naughty foods in moderation and exercise every day, most of them will be fine, without some shaman interfering with them.

    • Weetie Meetie says:

      10:41am | 26/09/12

      I can’t speak for the rest of Australia but Sydneysiders terrifying vortex of consumer driven suburban blandness means food intolerances are an insta-middle class way of drawing attention to the sparking uniqueness of their non-existent personalities.

      I’m special. Everybody fuss over meeee!!

      Of course in classic Sydney style, this uniqueness is negated by everyone else in Sydney having the same issue in the quest to be ‘different’. The rest of Australia may not be aware but any form of individualism was made illegal in NSW around 2005. (The uniformity of womens clothing act also passed in 2007.)

      There is nothing more comical than listening to a group of Sydney women have an verbal arms race to proclaim who the most food intolerant is.

      “Honesty darl, I can’t eat anything. Even tap water just make me lethargic.”

      Sydney: Love it or laugh at it.

    • Nathan Explosion says:

      11:10am | 26/09/12

      This attitude shits me, because some of really do have actual diagnosed food intolerances and the people that make them up make us look like speshul snowflake dickheads.

      I’m lactose intolerant, and that’s pretty damn common. So common that you can even get lactose free ice cream now (and wasn’t that a day of celebration in my house!). I can’t stand soy milk, luckily there is lactose free milk that tastes like normal milk. I wish cafes would stock that instead of soy. Have you ever put soy milk in your tea? Blech.

      Maybe it’s because lactose intolerance doesn’t have cool symptoms. Seriously, tummy cramps, farting and the runs is not cool.

    • shinydonkey says:

      11:44am | 26/09/12

      Farting IS SO cool.  I’m 35 and still think so.

    • Alfie says:

      04:27pm | 26/09/12


      Nup…only *some* farts are cool. Like realestate, it’s all about location.

    • StuieG says:

      11:21am | 26/09/12

      I swell up worse then K Fed if I get stung by a bee ! Luckily a little Reiki healing and I live… yeh right.

    • shinydonkey says:

      11:26am | 26/09/12

      I think spurious food intolerances - by spurious I mean inot been diagnosed by an immunologist or gastro - serve two functions:

      1) Attention-seeking,
      2) More insidiously, a socially acceptable means of severely limiting caloric intake, since the culprits tend to be wheat-based carbohydrates and refined sugars. 

      Let’s call an eating disorder and eating disorder.  Say it with me.

    • Curly Pete says:

      11:42am | 26/09/12

      Orthorexia nervosa

    • wisteria says:

      12:08pm | 26/09/12

      I completely agree.  I work with someone just like that.  She doesn’t eat anything of particular substance and as soon as she has anything with any saturated fat (say pasta),it goes right through her and we have to listen to a long winded dissertation about how she cannot eat anything but boiled chicken and vegetables.

      It’s not allergies its because she never eats anything of substance.  She has also recently declared that she is now allergic to tea.  I’ve never heard of anyone being allergic to tea!!

      I would love her to be allergic to wine, a couple of glasses and she becomes one of the most irritating people I’ve ever met.

    • Nonna says:

      01:04pm | 26/09/12

      We are all different. Inside & out.
      Try listening to your body & if something does not agree don’t eat/drink it.
      COMMON SENSE it what is lacking these days; or asking an older experienced person for an opinion.
      EVERYTHING should be taken in moderation.
      Only drink human milk.
      Unfortunately so many people think the answers to all problems are on the internet.

    • Elphaba says:

      02:06pm | 26/09/12

      “Only drink human milk”

      You were all good up until that point.  You have a wet nurse, huh?  Weird.

    • nonna says:

      02:38pm | 26/09/12

      Obviously just until you are weaned!

    • Elphaba says:

      03:03pm | 26/09/12

      It wasn’t that obvious…

    • colroe says:

      03:51pm | 26/09/12

      Living in a “Third World ” country, I very rarely hear of kids having food and environmental allergies.  Peanuts, starch, gluten, pollen, sugar, seafood etc etc, all consumed from birth till old age.  Maybe, and I have little or no medical knowledge, the obsession in the west with allergies could be related to social environments.  This also applies to young children being force fed Ritalin and all types of anti psychotic drugs, as a very likely excuse for poor parenting.

    • Sara Somewhere says:

      04:19pm | 26/09/12

      There is plenty of science around the lack of allergies in developing countries, but most of it links to higher rates of exposure to pathogens. The theory is that in the cleanliness-obsessed western countries people aren’t exposed to enough bugs, causing their immune systems to react to inappropriate things.

    • stephen says:

      04:51pm | 26/09/12

      I’ve copped hayfever very seriously this year, and Saturday 10 days ago was the worst.
      Last week I went to hospital to have an injection because the pills, the nasal spray and all else was ineffectual ... and still no respite.
      Often I wonder what folk did a hundred years ago with my condition, and perhaps they had toothache, a nagging wife, a dying dog, a horse that wont go ... and then my sneezing isn’t so bad.

      ps hey, I just thought of a song….

    • Vicki PS says:

      05:31pm | 26/09/12

      We poor people can’t afford food intolerances: only the middles class can afford them.

      I laughed last week at a street market, where a stall holder offered a bowl of wrapped lollipops to three 8- or 9-year old girls browsing with an older woman, presumably her grandmother. She asked in a rather condescending tone if the sweets contained any wheat products, then told the girls they had better not have them when the stall holder said that she didn’t have a clue.

      As none of the girls appeared hesitant until their grandmother said no, I think it’s pretty unlikely that any of them had a real allergy or intolerance.  In my experience, kids with real problems know jolly well what they can and can’t eat.  As it is, there’s a few more who’ll grow up believing in superstition instead of verifiable knowledge.  (I wonder if their Gran will warn them about orange pips growing into trees in their tummies?)

    • food scientist says:

      05:35pm | 26/09/12

      What a stupid article.

      Somewhere between 70-85% of people in the world are lactose intolerant.

      Estimates of fructose malabsorption are as high as 40% for some populations.

    • Kate says:

      05:52pm | 26/09/12

      I’ve got three relatives with medically diagnosed coeliac disease. Nothing annoys them more than people who invent a gluten intolerance, then eat a bunch of pasta/bread/Tim Tams and say ‘oh it’s OK for me to have a little bit’. If you really do have coeliac then no, it isn’t. You’d know if you had it - my aunt and uncle got diagnosed after having horrible stomach problems for ages, and my mum’s was diagnosed after she inexplicably dropped 10kg in a couple of months. Fortunately, despite the strong genetic connection, I’m fine - that gluten free bread tastes like a wet sponge and I’d hate to have to eat it!


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