Influencers Can Also Leave You Sick

Influencers Can Also Leave You Sick

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash


People like influencers, gurus, and self-helpers can leave you broke. Even though they may promise you that if you spend money (sometimes money you don’t have) on their programs, you will become rich and famous, ’tisnt always so.

Key topics:

✔️ What is the actual criteria of an “influencer” anyway? The barriers to entry seem pretty low.
✔️ LinkedIn has become a hub of fake pathos, outright lies, self-aggrandizement and humble-brags. I would be leery of anyone who promises to make you millions of dollars solely by using LI.
✔️ Psychopathic manipulators have 0 issues with taking your last dollar. And they will do it if you let them.
✔️ Don’t be blinded by a large number of likes or followers. These interactions can be bought and they can also be bots. (No pun intended.)


-“Influencers Can Leave You Broke”  published on June 2, 2022


I’ve warned you many times about the hot air & hopium crowd, especially as it relates to the job market and the economy – leading you down a primrose path and telling you what you want to hear as Rome burns. Last year, I recorded the podcast episode referenced above: Influencers can leave you broke. Yeah. No duh. And they can also leave you overweight, out of shape, and sick, too.


Well, clutch my pearls, ya don’t say! 😒

One of my grandfathers suffered from a host of what we often call Western world diseases: heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, etc. His doctor recommended dietary changes and regular exercise, which probably doesn’t even happen much these days. In a moment of consternation, he said, “It’s just food. I can’t understand how food could hurt me.” Sadly, the “food” we have in modern times isn’t the same as what our ancestors had. Most of my great-great-grandparents were born in the mid to late 1800s. If they saw a modern grocery store, they would find a plethora of oddities. Unfortunately, yes, food – or as Michael Pollan said “edible foodlike substances” – can hurt you.


As the World Health Organization raised questions this summer about the risks of a popular artificial sweetener, a new hashtag began spreading on the social media accounts of health professionals: #safetyofaspartame.

Steph Grasso, a registered dietitian from Oakton, Va., used the hashtag and told her 2.2 million followers on TikTok that the WHO warnings about artificial sweeteners were “clickbait” based on “low-quality science.”

Another dietitian, Cara Harbstreet of Kansas City, reassured her Instagram followers not to worry about “fear mongering headlines” about aspartame because “the evidence doesn’t suggest there’s a reason for concern.”

In a third video, Mary Ellen Phipps, a Houston-area dietitian who specializes in diabetes care, sipped from a glass of soda and told her Instagram viewers that artificial sweeteners “satisfy the desire for sweetness” without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels.

What these dietitians didn’t make clear was that they were paid to post the videos by American Beverage, a trade and lobbying group representing Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and other companies.

-Washington Post, Ibid.

Wow. WaPo out here namin’ names, y’all. The quotes sound like they are straight from an advertising propaganda script. My fellow Xers will remember the Disney version of Robin Hood where Sir Hiss’ eyes would get crazy and he would do a hypnosis trick. Same energy here. No reason for concern. Everything is safe. No reason for fear. It’s all just clickbait. Sounds like the same bullsh*t we get about the rrrrrrrobust job market, n’est-ce pas?

In all, at least 35 posts from a dozen health professionals were part of the coordinated campaign by American Beverage. The trade group paid an undisclosed amount to 10 registered dietitians, as well as a physician and a fitness influencer, to use their social media accounts to help blunt the WHO’s claims that aspartame, a mainstay of Diet Coke and other sodas, is ineffective for weight loss and “possibly carcinogenic.”

The campaign, which the beverage group acknowledged organizing, highlighted a little-known tactic the multibillion-dollar food and beverage industry is using to sway consumers faced with often-contradictory health messages about popular products.

The food, beverage and dietary supplement industries are paying dozens of registered dietitians that collectively have millions of social media followers to help sell products and deliver industry-friendly messages on Instagram and TikTok, according to an analysis by The Washington Post and The Examination, a new nonprofit newsroom specializing in global public health reporting.

-Washington Post, Ibid.

I’ve warned you about this, too. We live in an age of bots, trolls, and paid shills. Every goofball mansplainer who told me that paid shills are “just a conspiracy theory,” well, who looks the idiot now? There are social media posts that aren’t even written by actual humans. There are so-called experts and influencers who are being PAID to intentionally deliver a particular result for their owners.

The analysis of thousands of posts found that companies and industry groups paid dietitians for content that encouraged viewers to eat candy and ice cream, downplayed the health risks of highly processed foods and pushed unproven supplements — messages that run counter to decades of scientific evidence about healthy eating. The review found that among 68 dietitians with 10,000 or more social media followers on TikTok or Instagram, about half had promoted food, beverages or supplements to their combined 11 million followers within the last year.

-Washington Post, Ibid.  emphasis mine

I’m sorry, but WTF dietitian encourages people to eat candy and ice cream? *slips on tinfoil hat*  Do you think maybe, just maybe, Big Food wants you addicted to their products even if it makes you sick? Do you think maybe, just maybe, Big Pharma wants you on as many meds as possible? Do you think maybe, just maybe, the Body Positivity movement has been hijacked by corporate entities who don’t have John & Jane Q. Public’s best interests at heart? Now it seems we’re getting a push towards “all foods are good foods,” which, I’m sorry, I just don’t believe to be true.

I’m a Certified Personal Trainer and I’m studying for my Sports Nutrition certification. I’ve been on a body recomp journey that at times has been stymied by my post-C*v!d heart issues. I completely understand that some of us have to be on medications to manage conditions beyond our control. Sh*t happens. One thing I have definitely learned is that if your nutrition sucks, a lot of other things will suck, too. Your athletic performance. Your sleep. Any health conditions you may have. Your energy level. Your ability to gain muscle mass. Your mobility. So actively encouraging people to eat junk food in some #treatyourself #allfoodisgoodfood mentality strikes me as both bizarre and irresponsible. All the people who begged us to “trust the science” as it related to 💉 need to be front and center on: where the f**k is the science that says eating junk food is good for your health? And if it exists, who funded it?

Washington Post also includes this Instagram post in its article:

I guess this is like the Oscar Wilde quote: “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” The thing is: how many times in a day is someone tempted by the junk food? And how many times are they giving in to that temptation because eff diet culture? I don’t know about you, but for me, the more sugar I eat, the more I want. With my heart issues, I’ve had to cut out alcohol, caffeine, and anything with a big wallop of sugar that could give me a sugar rush. I’m not saying having a slice of cake on your birthday or a slice of pie at Thanksgiving is the end of the world. I am wondering, like, if you’re eating cake and pie every day, how healthy can that be?

By the way, WaPo expounds on the post:

In the description next to the video, she wrote, “dietitian approved.”

Later in the post, it said “(AD),” to indicate it was a paid advertisement. After inquiries about the partnership, the posts were updated with “CdnSugarNutr,” which is the Instagram account for the Canadian Sugar Institute.

My, oh my. So it seems that a dietitian telling you about how sugar is not toxic and don’t feel bad about eating it whenever you want to is running an ad for the Canadian Sugar Institute. Jeez. We couldn’t make this up if we were trying.

Perhaps Mike Judge could because he got shockingly close with Idiocracy. *facepalm*

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