In these tough times, are magazines getting ultra desperate to grab our attention? Case in point is the current Women's Health magazine which I do like and think is one of the respectables in the women's magazine category, however, this month's issue raised a serious eye brow. WH has featured BISJ once before so I'm going to be nice and give the benefit of the doubt that there was some boo-boo with this month's cover.
Right away this headline gets my attention because I was kinda shocked that Women's Health would feature a severe weight loss story, "Drop Two Sizes in Just Two Weeks." To drop 2 sizes in 2 weeks is severe in my book, and really unhealthy as you need to drop around 10lbs to drop one size (depending on your height and frame could be more or less), so WH's claim is about 20lbs lost in 2 weeks. Um, that would set off major red flags. Most doctors will recommend a 1-3 lb loss per week as average and a healthy pace. Docs usually suggest dropping no more than 2lbs a week, and as well, pound loss can vary if you are trying to lose 200lbs versus 25lbs.
So, I open to the table of contents, and this is what you see:
I go to page 89, and the title of the page is "78 Ways to Cut 100 Calories." I look all over the page and the next page for the headline, "Drop Two Sizes in Just Two Weeks." I see it no where. Perhaps I was seeing it wrong so I go back to the table of contents, and nope, I saw it right.
Page 89 is constructed as a special page you can cut out into these handy cards that list ways you can cut out 100 calories in various food categories like at the drive thru, happy hour, dessert, etc. The tips inside are really helpful. And excitedly, our wonderful blogger pal Shauna Reid aka The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl is one of the cited sources of the story. Yay Shauna!
In the story on page 89, there is one paragraph basically about how if you cut out just 100 calories here and there then "poof" you can drop a dress size. The word "poof" by the way is something they used not me. Seriously, like we've all seen 10 pounds just "poof" into thin air. Maybe in photoshop but not in the real world.
For fun, I do some math in my head. There are 3,500 calories in one pound, so to drop one size, you need to drop about 10lbs which means a total of 35,000 calories you'd need to cut out in one week in order to drop one dress size. That figures then to be a 5,000 calorie deduction per day over 7 days. That is just plain wrong.
So, I scratch my head then I start to feel as if I've been duped like the guy you met on an online dating site, yet when you meet in person he's 20 years older than what his profile said. Yikes! On the WH's website, they have the "78 Ways to Cut 100 Calories" story by itself in the weight loss section with no mention of the "Drop Two Sizes in Just Two Weeks" headline.
I think the headline, "78 Ways to Cut 100 Calories" is exciting and a good headline as its own, perhaps not as dramatic as the drop 2 sizes one, but still, a solid title on it's own. And maybe, that's the problem, the calorie cutting headline is practical like the "nice guy" but not as drool worthy like the "bad boy."
What do you think? Have you seen the issue? Did I miss something because I'd like to be wrong about this? Is Women's Health using manipulating headline tricks us to get us to buy the magazine or is it perhaps a genuine mistake in not putting the correct headline with the story page?