Who is At High Risk of Being Misled? You Are! Household Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Processed Foods

Who’s at High Risk of Being Misled? You Are!

Who is at high risk of being conned into believing you need something harmful? We all are! In this upside-down world of wellness, big business, big money, and direct-to-consumer drug advertising, we are in danger of having our values shaped by the man behind the curtain. The wellness economy has a lot to say about what you should value and how that translates into what you should invest in. The closer you look at the products and services you consume to support your wellness, the more you’ll discover misalignment. Let the process of grounded awareness, coupled with a critical look at your purchases, lead you toward empowered wellness choices.

Who is Not at High Risk of Complications From Covid 19?

The first time I saw the commercial for the oral preventative medication Paxlovid I couldn’t believe what I heard. After the first 15 seconds, you’re informed people who are overweight, over 50, have diabetes or smoke are at high risk of developing complications from Covid 19. My mind immediately made a rough tally. How coincidently lucrative it is that such a large percentage of the US population is at high risk and in ‘need’ of preventative medication.

A flash to the weight guessing scene from the movie The Jerk came into my consciousness. Navin, the carnival weight guesser is asked, “What’d I win?”

…Anything in this general area right in here. Anything
below the stereo and on this side of the bicentennial glasses.
Anything between the ashtrays and the thimble. Anything in this
three inches right in here in this area. That includes the
Chiclets, but not the erasers.

Navin R. Johnson, The Weight Guesser from The Jerk (1979)

According to drug manufacturers, this is about the segment of the population not considered at high risk of Covid complications. When potential customers of the weight guessing carnival game walk away, Navin’s boss assures him he’s still doing a good job because he’s taken in $15 while only giving away .50 cents of crap. Navin exclaims, ‘Ah, it’s a profit deal!’

Curious, I looked up the percentages of Americans who are overweight, over 50, diabetic, and smoke. According to multiple weight statistics from varying sources, close to or over 70% of the US population is overweight. The percentage of people over 50 is approximately 34%, while those with diabetes or smoke tie at around 11-12%. That’s practically everyone.

Drug commercials have become more ridiculous every year and their profit-driven motivations are transparent. The fear factor seduces many into consuming potentially life-altering pharmaceuticals for next to no benefit. Those with an initial minor risk for developing a health issue then become at high risk of medical injury and don’t even know it. Read more: Not So Rare Side Effects.

The Upside Down World of “Wellness”

In the upside-down world, promoters of mainstream wellness make you afraid of natural remedies and tell you to put your faith in pharmaceuticals and other synthetic products. The word science is deceptively used to misplace trust, not for public health or protection, but for profit. Well-intended medical professionals indoctrinated to believe in cookie-cutter recommendations stipulate people adhere to an over-inflated consumption of medical services. This includes the frequency of medical/dental check-ups and preventative screenings that carry their own set of risks.

The world’s most cunning marketers have anchored complex beliefs about health and lifestyle in the minds of the populace. Globally, there is an enormous push to consume wellness-related products and services. These beliefs drive our consumption of products and services and shape our values. If you believe you’re at high risk of illness and need prescription drugs, you will place a lot of value on having insurance and prescription drug plans. If you believe you’re supposed to look like you’re 30 at 60 you’ll place value on services that claim to prolong youthfulness.

The global wellness economy was valued at $4.9 trillion in 2019 and then fell to $4.5 trillion in 2020, due to the massive economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the wellness economy has recovered quickly. In 2022, the global wellness economy reached $5.6 trillion, nearly 14% higher than its size in 2019.

Global Wellness Institute: Statistics & Facts

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness economy includes 11 sectors. The top three are: Personal Care & Beauty ($1,089 billion), Healthy Eating, Nutrition, & Weight Loss ($1,079 billion) and Physical Activity ($976 billion).

Be wary when big business’ answer to your wellness concerns or goals is to purchase from them. This applies to mainstream medical care, as well as the top three money-makers within the wellness economy. Since your earliest beginnings, you are groomed to think that you need certain things. You and I are at high risk of having these beliefs align us with the agendas of business. Without these influences, would you not value other things? Perhaps you would value your neighbors homemade elderberry syrup as a flu preventative more than the flu shot you get at Walgreens.

The Fitness Industry Now Cares About Your Mental and Spiritual Health

This is the section where I reveal a desire for personal protest. Fitness is a bigger business than ever before. Much like other big industries, it will glom onto any track, it feels brings profits. Perhaps one of the most insidious exploits is the prostitution of spiritual practices and somatic movements for wellness. Fitness apps claim a path to enlightenment. The same bodyweight exercises used for body sculpting are now packaged as somatic therapy. They’re not.

For over fifteen years, I’ve offered the focused movements of boxing to release stored emotion and created experiences opposite to those of a traumatic past. It has helped many calm their nervous systems and offered hope for a new story. There are multiple paths to healing and connecting spiritually through movement practices, but a crackerjack fitness app is snake oil.

Are Common Household Chemicals and Cosmetics Setting You Up For High Risk of Conditions Like Asthma?

Anticipating corporate benevolence when buying household products and cosmetics has the potential to create a high risk of jeopardized health. Taking pharmaceuticals or supplements that pose more risk than benefit is an example of being a misled consumer. We assess, lacking all the facts. The purchase of household chemicals, health, and beauty products carries risks as well. Harmful ingredients contained within these products fall way below our radar, and advertisers have you believing that you need them. You don’t and there are alternatives.

High risk of toxic ingredients. Cleaning products

High Risk of Exposure to Harmful Chemicals: Cleaning Supplies

Household names have long been associated with feelings of familiarity, safety, and trust. To keep you buying, the lure is toward bigger, better, and stronger! It has 2X then 5X the cleaning power. You can’t get the clean you need with regular so try platinum, turbo clean to sanitize the squalor you live in. These marketing ploys are not covert. Nearly everyone has grown up besieged by advertising. This marketing affects us by planting seeds that grow into beliefs about what we need. It shapes our values and spending. Round and round this cycle will steer you towards buying unnecessary harmful products. Most household cleaning can be done well using a few simple products that contain benign ingredients.

In the example of an enhanced product for extra cleaning power and ease of scrubbing (rinse your dishes after using them is my suggestion), the difference between an Ultra Regular dish soap and a Platinum is additional surfactants and the price. The cost may be higher than you think if your cumulative chemical load puts you at a high risk of diminished health. Some cleaning supplies expose you to harmful chemicals that cause asthma, cancer, allergies, and reproductive toxicity. See (EWG) Environmental Working Group Guide to Healthy Cleaning: Cleaning Supplies and Your Health.

The Con of Cosmetics, Health and Beauty Products: Some Carry a High Risk of Toxin Exposure

Even low-dose exposure to chemicals may cause harm depending on the timing of exposure. Pesticides and fragrances in menstrual care products cause skin irritation and potential reproductive injury. See the link for the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics for a list of chemicals and their health concerns. These ingredients are present in a wide range of hair straighteners, make-up, sunscreens, and nail products.

The laws governing cosmetics and personal care products are so limited that known cancer-causing chemicals, or carcinogens, are legally allowed in personal care products. Some carcinogens, such as formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, are common in personal care products…

Campaign For Safe Cosmetics

Many cosmetics and moisturizers diminish skin quality. It may feel or smell beneficial but contribute to the opposite desired result. Beauty standards have normalized cosmetic surgery. Botox for facial lines and synthetic fillers for lips like Bratz dolls. An expected practice among the wealthy and celebrity world, their surgically modified or airbrushed faces are used to market less than effective and unhealthy cosmetics. Celebrity testimonials with embellished evidence of efficacy may convince you to buy entire lines of products.

Who is at high risk ?
Using Harmful Cosmetics

The Addition of Fragrance: A Catchall Label For Ingredients With a High Risk of Containing VOC’s and Phthalate Chemicals

The ingredient ‘fragrance’ may include toxic chemicals like phthalates, and companies are not required to disclose them. It’s known as the Fragrance Loophole. The FDA does not deem the commonly used phthalate DEP as a health concern and is not required to provide allergen labeling. It’s up to the consumer to read the ingredient lists of the prospective purchases, know that ‘fragrance’ could include harmful chemicals and decide for themselves.

The increased concentration of fragrances and fragranced-associated VOCs in the indoor air may cause adverse cutaneous, respiratory, and systemic effects such as headaches, asthma attacks, breathing difficulties, cardiovascular and neurological problems, mucosal irritation, and contact dermatitis, as well as distresses …

nih.gov Do Synthetic Fragrances in Personal Care and Household Products Impact Indoor Air Quality and Pose Health Risks?

While some ‘industry-minded’ people downplay concerns about fragrance, even the NIH has reported health risks associated with fragrance exposure. We must each decide on our comfort or lack thereof with chemical exposure. I know your perfume, hair product or other personal care off-gassing is harmful because of how it feels when I breathe in what lingers in the air. Sometimes I get on an elevator and know its previous passengers by the residual fragrance left behind.

Ultra Processed Foods Put You at High Risk of Chronic Disease and Health Conditions

Not everything that is ultra-processed screams, “I’m a Ring Ding full of corn syrup and palm oils. Eat me and hate yourself”. When I shop with my mom, I make futile efforts to cajole her towards making different, healthier food choices. My reasoning proves lacking, as she rejects it. Her simple retort, “It’s Progressive!”, she believes, is an ironclad dismissal of my concerns about product ingredients. Her deep-seated trust in product names began long ago, so my contrary information makes no impact. What’s in Progresso Soups? Read More at Ingredient Inspector. It’s hard for her to make sense of this upside-down world. After all, “they” wouldn’t sell food with ingredients that pose significant health risks!

New research suggests that ultra-processed foods (UPFs) raise the risk of cognitive impairment and strokes.

Harvard Health ‘Ultra-processed foods? Just say no

Before you purchase, read your labels. A homemade food item with minimal ingredients may be outrageously over-processed when bought. An easy tortilla recipe includes flour, salt, oil or butter, and water. There are brands of tortillas with more than a dozen ingredients with questionable additives. See the ingredient list for Toufayan Wraps at Fooducate.Com. The packaging claims of 0 grams trans fats, 0 mg cholesterol, and 4 grams protein lead you to believe the tortillas are extra healthy. They’re not. Guess what else is in ultra-processed foods?? Phthalates.

A Cumulative Exposure Puts You at High Risk of Toxin Overload

I’ve certainly had my fair share of exposure. From cocktails of cleaning chemicals to processed foods, and hairsprays to cheap alcohol. Speaking of alcohol, you should probably know about this: Popular Weed Killer Found in Top Beer and Wine Brands. This is not recent news. Poisonous glyphosate from Roundup has infiltrated most parts of our lives and it is part of YOUR exposure. While washing dishes in blue dish soap may not be immediately harmful, your lymphatic system, which includes your liver and kidneys, may be under increased strain because of cumulative exposure to many substances.

How do you know? A toxin overload can compromise organ functioning and result in digestive issues like bloating and heartburn, or make you feel lethargic and irritable. I suffered from migraines for nearly a decade. In hindsight, I’m sure it was in part because of toxin overload. There are ways to detox and healthier options for self-care, living, and consuming. The simplest options are often the best and won’t break the bank.

Natural Health and Wellness: An Expanding Market Capitalizes on the Term ‘Natural’

There is a growing minority who pursue natural health or wish to follow a more holistic approach to wellness. If you become complacent, you may discover that a mega company is selling what you believe to be a solid consumer purchase from a company that cares. Their only interest in natural health is the whopping return on the investment. Companies hijack and corrupt long-standing natural products for excessive gain. Under these conditions, the original company values for product purity ‘naturally’ erode. This list continues to grow: Popular Small Health Food Companies We Trusted That Sold Out.

Food ingredients touted as natural and safe are later found to be harmful

We’re back to sugar substitutes’ claims of being safe alternatives to sugar, only to be found harmful. Pink to blue and now Truvia too! I could write a cynical poem titled Safe to High Risk. Last year, all the mainstream expert sources claimed Truvia and Stevia were healthier alternatives to sugar. This month these same sources report roughly double the risk of heart attack and stroke associated for those with the highest levels of blood Xylitol. Although Xylitol occurs naturally in foods like strawberries the commercial version is mostly processed from corn cobs.

For commercial use, however, xylitol is made from corncobs, birch trees or genetically engineered bacteria.

“It’s sold as a so-called natural sweetener, and because xylitol doesn’t spike blood sugar levels, it’s also marketed as low carb and keto friendly,”

Common low-calorie sweetener linked to heart attack and stroke, study finds

This serves as a reminder that what is considered safe for consumers can change, be it food additives, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, or household chemicals. Risk-to-benefit assessment is based on the data at a given time. Some data will never be in.

Be At High Risk For Empowered Wellness and Savvy Consumer Practices

Empowered Wellness is achieved from your daily choices made with grounded awareness of your actual needs, as well as a more discerning look at what you are consuming.

  • Recognize when value decreases. If a product or service is no longer maintaining quality, ditch it.
  • Read ingredient labels of foods and products before purchasing them.
  • Research the companies you purchase from.
  • Seek simple, natural ways to clean your home and, care for your body and mind.
  • Limit or eliminate exposure to advertising. Wellness cannot be purchased.
  • Use vinegar.
  • Don’t be fooled by headlines. “Scientifically Proven” is a power word for writers, not a fact.
  • Consume less and choose products and services that align with what you truly value.

People who listen to their body’s responses to substances and environments are at high risk of fine-tuning their body’s natural ability to know what supports their health and what is detrimental.

For more reading see: How to Stay Healthy – 18 Simple Habits. Please visit my Coaching Services page for more information or contact me to book an appointment for support with developing a healthy lifestyle and exploring alternatives for empowered wellness.

I wish you clarity and empowerment as you make sense of the upside-down world of wellness, consumerism, and the marketing that seeks your dollars. Discover what is most valuable needn’t be purchased, just claimed.

Estelle Bonaceto
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6 thoughts on “Who’s at High Risk of Being Misled? You Are!

  1. Very interesting article. I am grateful that I was taught most of this some years ago, and have made modifications. However, some of this I didn’t know, such as Round Up is leaking into alcohol. That’s scary, for sure, but being informed is empowering. Thanks for sharing all of this knowledge & resources.

    1. I appreciate you reading my articles, Kirby. I know you are a savvy consumer and thoughtful in your support of conscious companies whose mission is aligned with your values. There is a sea of information and misinformation on many fronts to sort out.

      1. i am thankful you are doing your part to sort through the sea of information and misinformation. having the aspiration to do so is what’s most important. a moral victory is always greater than a physical victory.

        1. Hello Zach, I’m thankful for you taking the time to read my article. Each of us is victorious when do our best to live according to our true values. This is different for everyone and we learn and grow as we go 🙂

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