The ugly "janus-face" of the health craze

Nowadays it's all about being "healthy", about living a sustainable lifestyle and being the best "you" that you can be.

And with demand, comes supply.

A huge market has opened up in that department, with new startups (like Manna) finding their place, through unique, new and creative ways, some even take off and manage to establish themselves as grand players in the business.

And then of course there's the big chains, trying to keep up with the hype, they revamp their range and expand onto healthier variations, that the people are now asking for.

And while we are, without a doubt, big fans of the health craze something doesn't seem right...

The health craze is revealing it's ugly side, and many companies reveal themselves as so called janus-faced tricksters (Janus; ancient roman god with two faces, known to be misleading).

More and more brands are choosing to advertise their products using Buzzwords like "healthy", "nutritious", "authentic", "homemade" and "organic". Using terms like these, they draw in more and more customers that are allured by big and expensive marketing campaigns that promote better health and weight loss.

And that is the problem. The many brands with these grand campaigns, pictures and slogans project a false message, a false hope, onto their consumers.

Brands like "Activia", a yoghurt brand, have completely rebranded themselves, now promoting a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Their website focuses on How to's, guides and tips on sustaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. They seem to barely concentrate on advertising their product but are simply working on building a credible and trustworthy aura around themselves, regarding health and nutritional tips. Probably hoping that by being perceived as a healthy brand, their "Activia yoghurt" will be known as the epitome of health.

The brand name being what it is, seems to suggest the yoghurt as a perfect snack for working out and athletes.

But when looking at the nutrients and ingredients on the yoghurts label, it could not be further from "organic" or "nutritional". A whooping 17 grams of sugar per 100g (in comparison to the 5 grams per 100g in more organic alternatives) would certainly not classify the "Activia yoghurt" as healthy and ideal dietary food. Especially since the recommended amount of sugar per day is set at 30 grams. One Activia yoghurt would already cover your daily sugar intake, not allowing you any other indulgence for the day.

Furthermore Activia isn't the only brand that has been disguising their products as healthy when in reality they aren't.

In fact, too many commercial companies have launched their own healthy brands, hoping to draw in a wider range of customers, without putting in time or effort to make sure they really are healthy, thus keeping the costs to a minimum and profits to a maximum.

Safeway, a national grocery store, has launched their own brand "O organics".