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Beware Of The Pied Piper

I get a spam e-mail every day entitled “Word Of The Day”.  These e-mails provide a word seldom used in our daily talk and the meaning of that word.  Today’s word was “PIED” and the meaning: Having two or more different colors.

When I first saw the word “PIED” I immediately thought of the term “Pied Piper”.  Checking in on this term, here are the origins:

The Pied Piper of Hamelin (German: der Rattenfänger von Hameln, also known as the Pan Piper or the Rat-Catcher of Hamelin) is the title character of a legend from the town of Hamelin (Hameln), Lower Saxony, Germany. 

The legend dates back to the Middle Ages. The earliest references describe a piper, dressed in multicolored (“pied”) clothing, who was a rat catcher hired by the town to lure rats away with his magic pipe. When the citizens refused to pay for this service as promised, he retaliated by using his instrument’s magical power on their children, leading them away as he had the rats. This version of the story spread as folklore and has appeared in the writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Brothers Grimm, and Robert Browning, among others. 

The phrase “pied piper” has become a metaphor for a person who attracts a following through charisma or false promises.  So what pertinence does any of this have to a blog focusing on weight control and overall health? Here goes:

During a long-term weight control journey we will all come across “influencers” that will try to coerce us into following their advice, instruction, teaching etc. as these relate to shedding weight.  Some of these people are reputable in the field of nutrition and weight control whereas others may be internet frauds scheming to extract $$$ out of you.  Beware of following fad diets, taking unproven supplements and/or other interventions being recommended by people you really cannot vet appropriately.  Following a nebulous “Pied Piper” can lead to health danger.

And of course, for you music fans of the 1960’s, you knew this song was coming!  Here is Crispian St. Peters singing his hit “Pied Piper”.

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