Women to alarmists: Knock it off!

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Angry Woman Negative headlines and alarming warnings about food, household items and health leave women feeling confused, suspicious and overwhelmed, but do little to make them adjust their lifestyles.  These were some of the findings of a national online survey of women regarding “alarmism” released by the Independent Women’s Forum.

The results show women want more information but they have a widespread distrust in the media, the largest purveyors of alarmist warnings. In addition, women have little faith in warnings provided by the federal government and activist organizations. Instead, they rely on friends, family and doctors for sound health and safety advice.

The poll found that “mommy guilt” (and non-mommy guilt) is pervasive – alarmism causes them to wonder about the actions they take in terms of family care. In fact, two-thirds of the women surveyed say they sometimes feel badly about not doing enough to promote the health and well-being of their families.

But women aren’t pointing fingers. They strongly feel their decisions, whether good or bad, are a matter of choice and not access. According to the survey, women also reject the idea that government action will succeed at encouraging people to live healthier. In fact, twice as many women believe government meddling either makes no difference or is counter-productive, compared to those who believe it works.

Julie Gunlock, director of the Culture of Alarmism project at the Independent Women’s Forum Women believes the constant bombardment of negative information creates a “never cry wolf” phenomena, where women simply cannot tell the difference between legitimate concerns that might affect their family's health and well-being, and scary headlines designed to attract attention.

“Women—especially mothers—have had enough of all the scaremongering,” says Gunlock. “They want reliable information, not the dodgy science so often reported by the press. Women have choices in the marketplace right now. They don’t need government minders and activist groups to tell them how to live or how to raise their children.”

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Dr. R.B. Baker    
Iowa  |  July, 29, 2013 at 08:54 AM

It would be nice to have a peer reviewed science website for consumers where good factual and practical reporting could "spawn" from. The sad thing is many of the organizations that push negative information actually believe what they "preach". They are actually faith based rather than scientifically factual. A good example is the belief that unpasteurized milk has special healing and nutritional powers! "Beam me up Scotty".

Steve Lombardi    
West Des Moines, Iowa  |  August, 02, 2013 at 09:24 AM

I thought personal injury lawyers were alone with seeing how big business and our own government uses scare tactics as a tool to move votes and encourage people to buy into something it wants. I hadn't given much thought about farmers and the food-fear issues. Of course I'm a meat eater and if my cardiologist tells me I'll live ten more years if I just eat fish, I say to him, "And what get ten years to be miserable?" Pass me the butter please. Oh and when I talk food-fear I'm talkiing about food fair at the Iowa State Fair. Ummmm.

SD  |  August, 07, 2013 at 07:57 PM

Interesting that the Dr. comments with a slam against natural, unpastuerized milk. More interesting us that there are no statistics re. illnesses caused by drinking it, no comparisons of numbers of consumers' made ill and the level of seriousness of the illnesses from drinking non-pastuerized milk included in his comments. I did drink non-pastuerized mild for at least thirty of my seventy three years, but discontinued keeping a family milk cow when we decided we no longer had the time to be tied down by that chore, with no ill effects. We surely don't enjoy the 'store bought' version, with its additives, nearly so much as the homegrown version, though we do enjoy yogurt. I too, would prefer a reliable, honest, science backed web site to find facts about foods touted as either great, or dangerous, including exposure of the background of the people, institutions, or organizations making the claims.


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