Jewish World Review Dec. 17, 2010 / 10 Teves, 5771
These Vitamins Wear Me Out
By Greg Crosby
Today you'll find no fewer than 15 different kinds of One A Day vitamins to choose from on the shelf. See, it all depends on which "kind" of person you are. So you'd better know who you are before you go shopping for a vitamin. Let's go through the list, shall we? First, are you a man or a woman? Yes, One A Day has separate vitamins depending on your gender.
Let's start with the women. They have Women's 50+ Advantage if you are an older woman; they have Women's Prenatal if you are pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding; they have Menopause Formula if you are going through "menopause-related changes;" they have Women's Active Mind and Body if you need "extra support for your active lifestyle;" then they have Women's Active Metabolism if you want "to help support your metabolism and help you feel energized." Oh, and then they have just a plain old regular Women's, which is for "supporting bone and breast health."
Okay, guys, here are YOUR choices of vitamin products. There is Men's Health Formula which "support men's health concerns;" Men's Pro Edge which "support your active lifestyle;" and then there is Men's 50+ Advantage for men over 50 years of age. For BOTH men and women they have Cholesterol Plus which "supports cholesterol and blood pressure;" there is something called Energy for "mental alertness and energetic feeling;" Maximum is "designed to help maximize your day;" and Essential is "specially designed in a small easy to swallow tablet."
And what if you happen to fall into MORE THAN ONE of these conveniently segregated categories? You know, like what if you are a woman AND over 50 AND want to support your metabolism AND are going through menopause AND want support for your active lifestyle AND want to maximize your day AND want a small easy to swallow tablet? Which one do you buy? Do you buy them all?
By the way, there is also a vitamin for adults who want to pretend they are still children called Vitacrave's Gummies. And there is one just for adolescents called Teen Advantage and at least four flavors of children's vitamins. They haven't figured out a way to divide up kids and teenagers into more specialized product yet, but I'm sure they'll get to it. A few obvious segments they have missed would include a separate vitamin for teenage girls and one for teenage boys, a gummy vitamin for boys and one for girls, and a separate vitamin for hyper-active children. I'm sure there could be dozens of others they might come up with.
And hey, what if you are a transgendered person? Why isn't there a vitamin for you? If there are ones for men and women, why have they disenfranchised the transgendered people? Hmmm, I think there might be a gender discrimination lawsuit here. And yes, there certainly should be a specialized vitamin for people in the homosexual and lesbian communities. After all, they have lifestyles which are, shall we say, a bit different from others and may require a different mix of health benefits. Oh yeah, One A Day had better hop on this right away. They might call that product One A Day Alternative.
Listen, I know the deal here. It's niche marketing gone nuts. I get that the whole reason for dividing people up by type is all about increasing product shelf space. So why stop with gender and age? Why don't they really go for it and sub-categorize the vitamin-taking public by race too? You know, like African American formula, Asian formula, Latino formula, and Pacific Islander formula.
How about a vitamin just for midgets and one for giants? They have special needs, don't they? And what about specialized vitamins for people who are hearing impaired or have other physical limitations? Vitamins for stutterers. Vitamins for bald men might work, too. Hey, what about vitamins for each individual state of the union? After all, the people who live in Oregon have much different vitamin needs than do the people who live down in Texas. Boy, you can get loads more shelf space with those ideas…maybe even an entire supermarket aisle just devoted to vitamins.
If you folks at One A Day are so inclined I wouldn't mind getting a little royalty check for these ideas. But please, don't send me any vitamins. I don't take them.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
© 2008, Greg Crosby