This year was a tough one in a lot of ways, and the rise of certain health trends did not make it any easier.
There are the perennially frustrating inaccuracies, like the concept that “natural” sugars are “healthy” ― we’re looking at you, blue agave. And if we read one more story comparing food to drug addiction, we might scream. Then there were some unfortunate developments in the health landscape, like pricey fitness subscription fee hikes.
It wasn’t all bad news in the world of health, though. Fitness enthusiasts continue to push the limits for new ways to build your abs, and the results are funny and surprising. And women are running past the finish line in droves: Women's participation in races has increased by more than 25 percent since 1990, as nearly 10 million girls run races in the U.S. alone. But since the end of the year is typically associated with saying goodbye ― or at the very least, an airing of grievances ― we rounded up a few trends we took issue with this year and hope to never see again.
Below are a few of the most disappointing health items from 2016:
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First, it started with KIND bars. In May, the FDA issued a warning
to the snack bar company stating that the word "healthy" on its packaging was misleading.
Then it became a bigger conversation. What does the word "healthy" actually mean
? The FDA opened up this exact question the public in September to better guide consumers through the purchase of packaged food. The verdict is still out on the "definitive answer."
Here's to hoping this one gets worked out in 2017. Until then, nothing beats a balanced diet. If you're looking for some inspiration, here's what the world's healthiest diets have in common
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In November, comedian Rosie O'Donnell retweeted a video of various clips featuring Barron Trump, the son of President-elect Trump. The montage suggested the 10-year-old might be showing signs of autism, with no real fact to back up the claims. Unsurprisingly, backlash ensued
O'Donnell later posted a poem
on her website in defense of the video, writing "If it is true...it would help so much with the autism epidemic." Two weeks after posting the video, O'Donnell tweeted an apology
to Melania Trump, Barron's mother, who considered the video a form of bullying and harassment. The boy does not have autism, according to his parents
Let's leave the diagnosis to the doctor and the sharing of said diagnosis to those involved.
Meditation might not
be for you -- and that's totally okay. But let's get one thing straight: The suggestion to be more mindful isn't to lend "a scoop of moralizing smugness
," as author Ruth Whippman stated in a New York Times opinion piece in November. Mindfulness is not a substitute
for medication either – it's merely another tool to cope.
Paying attention to the breath is an easy and accessible tool to help you calm down
. And just because you meditate to focus on the present moment, doesn't mean you can't also spend some time letting your mind wander
. Both are good for you.
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It was the kettle bell drop heard 'round the world. Class Pass, the subscription service which supplies users with access to boutique fitness classes, cut its unlimited plan
The salt in the wound? Devotees would still have pay the same amount despite access to much fewer classes. Ouch.
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Zika is arguably one of the biggest public health concerns that emerged from 2016. The mosquito-borne disease has devastating effects in newborns and can persist in placentas for months
In February, a report
falsely linked the uptick of newborn microcephaly cases in Argentina to a larvicide, rather than the disease spread by mosquitoes. Zika is also not the product of genetically modified mosquitoes
, as some claim. And no, Americans do not have magical immunity
to the virus, either.
Accurate medical information is critical during outbreaks.
Now raise your hand if you are so ready for 2017.