Reanna and I explored  LA’s fashion district last week. I think her favorite part was looking at the (to me) bewildering assortment of fabric. My favorite part was this sign, in a frozen yogurt joint near Santee Alley:

We read this sign while eating the store’s product, the most intensely sugary frozen yogurt ever created. This snack was pure entertainment, not food, so the fact that the store was plastered with signs like these was… hilarious?

Another odd thing is the indefinite reference of the sign: is is about the health benefit of blueberries or yogurt? (They offered a few fruits as toppings. We had strawberries on our pina-colada/cheesecake frozen yogurt and they were the only really enjoyable element of the snack.)

Then there’s the singular “benefit” mentioned in the sign, followed by four bullet-points.

Then there are the points themselves. Firstly, the yogurt–or the giant blueberry, or some other thing–“fights and lowers cholesterol.” This may only be funny to me because of all the research I’ve done lately on cholesterol. (I discovered I may have familial hyperchoesterolemia, so I looked into it.) Cholesterol is a kind of fat molecule that our bodies make to use as structural elements in our cell walls, sex hormones, and other stuff. It’s not a poison or virus. Fighting cholesterol makes about as much sense as fighting protein or fighting B vitamins. “Lowers cholesterol” is somewhat less nonsensical, but it turns out that what seems to matter is not so much the high- or low-ness of cholesterol in your blood, but how your body is packaging that cholesterol. If your body is packaging cholesterol in big protein sacks (called LDL) more than in small protein sacks (HDL), then you may be in trouble. And even then, your health risk depends a lot on the size of the big protein sacks that you make–if your big protein sacks of cholesterol are properly big, you are probably OK. If they are relatively small, that is bad news. My point is, this sign’s emphasis on “lowering” serves advertising purposes only.

Next point: “Improves the digestibility of food constituents.” I love the wording. I wonder if they are referring to eating in general, here, as putting food constituents into a digestive tract definitely improves their digestibility.

Next point: “Strengthens the immune system.” Compared to what, I wonder? And what are the units of immune system strength?

And my favorite: “Enhances one’s nutritional status.” I imagine nutritional status is a kind of social status, conferred by eating a big tub of frozen yogurt in public. That would explain why our relatively small portion cost over $7.

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