Honey Nut Insanity
I've been getting cross a lot recently; it's all part of growing up into a big, strong crotchety old git. It's also rather comforting. Never does one feel so absolutely sure of oneself than when denouncing others in a vitriolic, unsubstantiated tirade of thoughtless kneejerk reaction. Today the victim is Nestle Cheerios. As if their simply being made by Nestle was not sufficient reason to become incensed, I have managed to take issue with the nutrition propaganda on the back. You know the bit, it's put there so you've got something to read while you shovel the refried cardboard (or whatever it is) into your system, shocking your metabolism into remission just in time to exhaust you completely before your inevitable sprint for the bus. Anyway, due to its early-morning audience, one expects such parts of the box to be (a) low-brow and simple and (b) unmemorable, thereby ensuring a stress-free, untaxing experience that can be slipped through in neutral morning after morning without fear of terminal boredom or mental exhaustion. I am therefore tempted to go easy on this little treat. But I won't.
The basic premise is thus: Most people find it difficult to concentrate over a period of time - yeah, right; especially at this time in the morning, bozo. Keep it short. Especially those with exams and tests. No wonder we all under-perform then. What a load of crap! Everyone knows that it only feels like you're underperforming at exam time because it's the only time of the year one is required to perform at all. Well now, brown cow? Research carried out by CDR and Reading Scientific Services confirms that eating Cheerios and Shreddies can actually help your concentration.
There's some other crap about slow-release carbohydrate energy but that's the bit that you're supposed to forget so you can read it again tomorrow and be amazed a second, third, fiftieth time. Anyway, then there is the following graph. Brace yourself, it's a real corker.
I don't just have issues with this graph, I have bin-liners full of complaint letters. First of all, why does everything to do with education have to be written in chalk? Even when I was at school, fifty-odd years ago, they all had whiteboards! Haven't the advertisers heard
of Stanley Milgram? Ingrained stereotypes of authority can kill people! And who is this pupil, anyway? She looks old enough to be doing a Masters.. she's certainly not dressed either in uniform or snappy teenage fashion; that shapeless BROWN sweater belongs on the back rail at the British Heart Foundation shop. And why, if she's got a shoulder bag, are her files in her other hand?? What's she going to high-five hippies in the canteen with? Her teeth?
But I digress; however inappropriate a twenty year-old may look on a kiddies' cereal box it's nothing compared to the ludicrous graph in front of which she is positioned. First of all, every condition
shows a decline
in concentration overall - with 8am as the benchmark! I can't concentrate on walking
at 8am! Downhill from that is comatose!!
And what is this poisonous rubbish that causes such appalling degradation of intellectual activity? First up, a glucose drink! The breakfast of champions! Who hasn't left the house of a morning, pausing only to swallow down a couple of cans of Tango or Lucozade? I'm reminded of Bill Bryson's "Rated FIRST against the Ford El Crappo for safety!" diatribe on advertising - if a glucose drink is the only competition then Cheerios can't be doing too well against anything more sensible. But wait! Sugary energy drinks aren't the only competition! The other condition is.. no breakfast! Which actually beats Cheerios in the first half hour! Clearly, the subjects were still mulling over the pseudo-scientific crap they'd just read on the Cheerios box and couldn't concentrate on.. whatever it was they were given. In the end, of course Cheerios come out on top but it hardly tells you anything you didn't know before - as the only solid food in the experiment you might equally read the result as,Cheerios - better for you than starvation
which is hardly the best ad slogan I've ever read. Frankly, this kind of arse really gets my goat, not least because you could quite easily chalk up another graph along the same lines, only this time with pints of Red Bull and Vodka pitted against starvation and cigarettes. I have it on good authority that nicotine enhances short-term synaptic formation ('learning' to you and me) and that taurine is.. well.. probably also good for you. In the short term.
Frankly, I prefer my graph. At least it's funny.
Comment on this entry
Oh no, my reaction time is delayed by just over one tenth of a second. I'm going to fail Floriculture!
Look what's plotted on the ordinate of that silly graph -- "Delay in Reaction Time (MSecs)" The girl has zero milliseconds of delay at 8AM? And is a tenth of a second delay significant?
Does "delay in reaction time" have anything to do with "Power of concentration"?
They may as well make the chart "Ability to catch a bullet".
8AM, semi-comatose: Subject breaks sound barrier; catches bullet; cooks eggs all at once.
10AM, awake: Subject hit. New subject introduced.
Reminds me of an old Dave Barry Rant.
"Part of this complete breakfast?" Aren't you just saying "on the same table as this complete breakfast," and couldn't the same be said for a dead rat?
(found you via boing boing)
But more in line with Carl's complaint, I would love to see the chart comparing Cheerios to, say, a piece of fruit! Or, god forbid, an egg! Those might actually show better results than anything on the chart.
And who said reaction time is the best measure of the "power of concentration" anyway? And what were the subjects reacting to? Maybe they should actually compare the result data directly, i.e.test scores, instead of trying to infer it from something else with an unproven correlation.
I two a pig
I three a pig
Nov shmoz ka pop.
Cortisol levels aren't being tracked. Nor is norepinephrine, endorphins, etc. What a muckup!
God save the Queen. All others pay cash.
or an antonym for
George W. Bush?
My nuts hurt on Tuesdays.
Whats wrong with a good old helping of porridge and a spoon of raw cod liver oil for breakfast, plus a good clout around the ear and off to school, never did me any bloody harm.
I blame the tree huggers and the loony left politically correct idiots for destroying all things British.
Don't eat the fucking thing.
Bollocks to it all.
I say this is the last straw. time for Blair to get his ass in gear and lets take the american colonies back.
honey, a sure way to turn the student
into an Attention Deficit Disorder sufferer.
Zero reaction time is not Neo, but simply zero decline from the baseline.
Agreed, even a piece of bacon would probably produce better results that a bowl of cheerios. It's sugar that's the problem. In fact, what marginal difference there is between the cheerios and an IV drip of glucose (?), or a soda pop, is the sheer amount of sugar. More sugar, the more dippy your reaction profile will be, and the harder it crashes at the end. Eat something high in protein- yes, even something fatty like bacon- you'll be much better off.
But hey, that dig about the chalkboard- When I was a kid our boards were actually made of slate- Black slate, natch. And I went to grade school less then fifty years ago, too.
had to go get me a bowl of cheerios
sure this isn't some type of viral marketing?
Beezniss vas so bed
I esked mine vife vat to do
End dis is vat she said:
Take yerself some kerosene
Pour it on de floor
Take a metch
Take a scretch
No more Kendy Store! Hey!
How can I follow you? And Do you have a blog?