Welcome to Women's Health Writeup Roundup!

Say THAT five times fast.

So the other day, Sci was on the elliptical, doing some cross training. Nothing major. I usually get bored on ellipticals, and thus I go to magazines. I wish I could read heavy novels and improve my mind with something like the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire while working out, but all the bouncing and the fine print and the sweating...my brain just isn't up to more than a magazine.

So on this particular day, feeling more virtuous than Cosmo, Sci picked up Women's Health (which is still getting sent with obstinate regularity to my house, never mind that I have never HAD a subscription, have always REFUSED a subscription, and have in fact attempted to CANCEL the subscription twice. I've given up).

Why virtuous, you say? Well, I don't know about you, but I can't help but feel that some women's magazines are better for you than others. Like, Cosmo or Seventeen, bottom of the pile. Self or Shape, a bit higher up, at least they have recipes and seem to be somewhat dedicated to a healthy lifestyle (even if "healthy" in their definition never fails to be a size 2 that only eats celery sticks and is so proud of losing half her weight in twelve months or less, and SO CAN YOU!). Women's Health always seemed to me like the most virtuous choice. I mean, it's WOMEN'S HEALTH. The covers usually feature things like "summer power foods!" and "get fit fast!", and when they have huge multi-page things on how to have better times in bed, at least it's not mentioned on the cover, so you can pick it up without feeling too shamefaced that you're reading something with "THE TOP TEN SEXIEST MOVES" on the cover.

So anyway, I've got my relatively virtuous magazine and I'm on the machine...and I start laughing. Then I start snorting. And then I nod a little. I do this successively for about half an hour, until I realize something. This magazine is not exactly full of the total unvarnished truth. I mean, I know that we all KNOW this, but how do we tell what is truth and what is fiction? I've got a lot of science background, so I'm pretty well capable of saying "haha, turmeric isn't really the answer to life, the universe, and everything, and garlic's not going to cure my cancer". But what about other people? While some of the writing is good advice, some of it may not be, and a lot of the science is simplified...to the point of really not being right.

So what to do about this? I know some of this stuff, but a lot of people don't. How do spread the word? And I thought, YES! THIS is a job for SCIENTOPIA!

So I sent out the call, and today we bring to you Women's Health, The Writeup Roundup. We will show you the good, the bad, and the plainly ridiculous. Of course, Women's Health was just the pick this time, there are of course dozens of other magazines out there selling more silly than just egregious airbrushing. This was just the one that happened to catch my eye. And Scientopians were there to help!

Today we bring you some of the best AND some of the worst that Women's Health has to offer, dissecting the main stories to get at what is good, what is crap, and what is kind of silly. We are basing most of our work on the July/August edition (the one with Ashley Greene from Twilight on the cover), with others as well. So make sure to check these blogs:

Adventures in Ethics and Science
Neurotic Physiology
Thus Space Zuska
Everyday Biology
The Brain Counfounds Everything (aka Dr. Isis)
Whizbang
Candid Engineer
Chemical BiLOLogy
The Urban Ethnographer

For Women's Health posts all day! Our Illustrious Admin, Mark, will be putting up a special Stream for this, so make sure you have a look round! I'll be posting a full link round up at the end of the day. Should be exciting!

12 responses so far

Leave a Reply