Friday, January 13, 2006

In case you were developing too much self esteem

I was driving the other day and heard an ad on the radio for a product called 'HeightMax'. The ad started off with a father bemoaning the fact that his 15 year old son wasn't tall enough. My first thought was lay off the kid, jackass, he's not done with puberty yet. My next thought was why don't you bring this up with the family doctor? Apparently drug/supplement manufacturers have decided that they've finally beaten the dead horse that is the magical weight loss pill. Now it's time to bring out a new product. What else are people insecure about?

I checked out their website. It's a fun place to go for those of us of less than stellar height (yes, this includes me and my stubby little legs). I searched high and low and nowhere on the website did I find a list of ingredients (necessary packaging for anything being consume within the body). I can only assume that the ingredients are listed on the bottle itself. The only clue to the ingredients was found in this statement

Our proprietary, trademark patent-pending formula is a mixture of herbal, oriental and western supplements that gives you the required balance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that helps promote height and boost the immune system.

Now I tend to be a little on the cynical side when looking at these types of natural enhancers, be they weight loss, 'male enhacement', or height. At best these pills do nothing and at worst cause serious health problems (anyone remember ephedrine?) The FDA can do nothing to get these pills off the market, or at least force manufacturers to prove their effectiveness, because the pills are marketed as dietary supplements, rather than medications.
In case you took a look at the website and still don't feel that you really need to be taller, there is a section titled '& Reasons To Try It'. This was my favorite reason, listed as #2
If you have ever heard people say that shorter people do not have as much fun as taller people, you may have listened with skepticism. By clicking on the article below you will find that this premise is in fact true.

As you get taller, you will not only gain more confidence, make more money and improve your self-esteem, but also earn the respect of your colleagues both at work and in your community. If this is what you aspire for, then HeightMax™ should be part of your daily life.
I didn't read the article HeightMax pointed to, but even if I did I have a feeling that it wouldn't explain how being taller would help me earn more money or respect. Unlike weightloss pill ads that show hundredsof pictures of amazon like women with rock hard six pack abs that they can crack walnuts with, HeightMax is decidedly short (pun intended) of pictures of really tall people. There is only 1 picture of a group of happy, smiling teens, shown from the waist up. WTF? Where are all the pictures of the freakishly tall? I want to see some before and after pictures.
This wonderful product is aimed at people between 12 and 25, to maximixe growth potential. At first glance this sounds reasonable. I don't expect to grow another inch, dietary supplement or not. Then I got to thinking. If you're feeding this to your kid as he or she starts to go through puberty, how will know if it's working? This is when kids generally start sprouting up anyway. Say little Johnny starts taking HeightMax when he's 14 and one of the shortest kids in his class. He takes it everyday for the next couple of years like a good little boy. Around 16 or 17 little Johnny is now over 6 feet tall. Is it time to thank HeightMax? Or, maybe, genetics took over at that point?

1 comment:

BlueMule said...

Was the background music "Short People" by Randy Newman?

Short people don't get as many headaches as tall people 'cause we don't bump our heads as much.