In the world of online media, the number of page views rules the day. Online advertisers pay for the number of people that click on an ad or visit a page.
And one sure-fire way to get people to click on something is to have a headline that spouts some idiotic, outrageous health advice.
Here are a few from this week:
Actually, Yo-Yo Diets Don't Screw Up Your Metabolism
Egg Yolks As Bad For Your Heart As Smoking
See the pattern? It's simple: let's write a story about how something that is good for you is really bad! Or, vice-versa, now what used to be bad is good!
What's next? Smoking is good for you? A story about the health benefits of fast food?
Use common sense. It will never steer you wrong. Ever.
Take the first one. Who cares if Yo-Yo diets screw up your metabolism? They screw up your life! It is bad for your physical health and bad for your mental health to gain and lose the same weight over and over again. Who cares about your metabolism?
And the egg one.
Come on. Eggs as bad for you as smoking? Really. So let's just accept the premise for just a second that eggs are really that unhealthy. How are the eggs being prepared? What was the rest of the person's diet like that was eating the eggs?
Again, once you employ simple common sense, these idiotic stories do not pass the test of reasonableness. But because we all want to believe, because a lot of us are desperate to lose weight, we will click on the story and read it and believe it.