Day 7 – Scam!

7 02 2010

Eat me and you may not die

Well it’s the end of the first week of this experiment and it’s also the end of the first weekend. I’d fully expected it to be miserable and for my life to have been put on hold. That’s definitely not the case so I guess it’s round one to the rules.

Having spent a great weekend down in Dorset I came back up to London on the train. Nice simple journey with not too much to worry about. I ate some well planned food, read the paper and then bang – I sneezed. No tissue, no bin. That’s the second time I’ve broken the rule and needlessly so. £100 fine immediately. Probably the most expensive sneeze ever. On top of that I got to 21:15 and realised I hadn’t done 30 mins of exercise today so I went for a run. Of course I forgot to wear something reflective, that’s another repeat offence and another £100 fine. Today has been an expensive day.

I’m also giving myself two suspended infractions for not hitting the vitamin target. I don’t know I missed it but I forgot to take vitamin supplements so I can’t guarantee I got the right amount. That got me thinking. The government recommends consuming a specific quantity of each vitamin every day. It’s usually an amount followed by some greek letters. Given that pretty much no one offers vitamin values on the side of food packs, how are you actually supposed to know how much you are getting? I guess you could do research, then take a sample of everything you eat and chuck it in the centrifuge before conducting a chemical analysis. Wait, what do you mean you don’t have one in your kitchen? What kind of citizen are you?

So if it’s practically impossible to find out how much of each vitamin you are getting, what’s the point in having a recommended daily amount?  The only way to be sure that you are getting what you need is to take a supplement. It’s as if the target only exists to provide the supplement industry with a tool to scare people with.

I was apprehensive about getting my vitamin intake within the rules. I’m willing to bet that with the diet I’m eating, I’m getting everything I need but I’ve still had to pop a pill everyday. Somewhere along the line someone is making a shitload of money out of a target set by the government that it’s impossible to know you’ve achieved naturally. This pisses me off.

Stats:

Weight 14st 1lb

Body fat 19.5%

Frustration – 5 (blend of relaxing weekend and cash penalty)

Infractions – 6.5 (2 suspended)

Wellbeing – 7 (Felt good on my run but have a headache now)

New rules today:

  • Test my smoke alarm weekly
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2 responses

8 02 2010
James

This is silly, you write as if the RDAs for are government targets that individuals are encouraged to measure and assess, but actually the RDAs are designed to be used as a scientific basis for more general policies – such as the range of meals that is made available in canteens in schools and workplaces, and such as advertising that we should eat five fruit and vegetables a day.

The statement “There are 31.5m hits for government regulations. Refining the search to UK pages brings up 565,000. That would mean the UK accounts for 1.8% of the world’s regulations with just 1% of its population.” is also silly, perhaps purposefully so – it totally ignores the fact that most of the world doesn’t speak english, and even amongst those who do the term “government regulations” has a particularly British sound to it – for instance people in the US are more likely to talk about state or federal regulations, not government regulations.

8 02 2010
jameswe333

Thanks for your comment, always interesting to see feedback. To be honest it might make more sense in the context of the whole project. The idea is to follow every rule, recommendation and guideline and explore. It may not be that the govt. is setting it as a personal target but it adds to the landscape of rules and recommendation and it’s a fact that some people (and certainly the supplement industry) take it as such. On the google stats, I’ll concede the technical point but this was just supposed to be a bit of fun!

Thanks for commenting.

James

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