Newest Review: ... ! No sorry this format is now just like any other general 'women's magazine' on the shelf. I don't buy it to read about recipes for barbequ... more
The Holland & Barrett magazine
Member Name: cerys82
Advantages: Great information and advice at a fantastic price
Healthy is the magazine which is released every two months by Holland & Barrett health food stores. It is primarily available instore, it is generally kept by the till. However, quite recently it has started to be available via postal subscription. Watch out with this though, as it costs £14 whereas buying in-store over a year (barring any price increases and at £1.75 an issue) would cost £10.50. That said, there are free gifts that come with a subscription that are worth more than the difference so, if that gift was something that would be particularly useful to you or you did not leave locally to a Holland and Barrett, this could be a really good option. There is also a website which accompanies it - www.healthy-magazine.co.uk. More recently, the store have brought out a 'Healthy for men' version which costs around 75p but is much smaller and focuses much more on sport and fitness issues, a slimline Men's Health if you will.
The front cover contains a lot of text, so you should be able to gather just from looking at the articles detailed, whether there is anything in the magazine that is of particular interest to you. The magazine is typically over 150 pages long.
Just inside the magazine you will find a two page spread of vouchers. Although Holland and Barrett are largely famed for their generous discounts on their products, you may find these vouchers particularly useful. In the edition I am looking at the discounts available vary from £4.10 to £11.25 per product.
First off, there is a lot of information in this magazine, so the best place for me to start would be to tell you how all of the different sections are defined in the index. They are split into the following categories
* regulars - competitions, travel, vouchers, readers letters
*wellbeing - the debate (taking a recent newsworthy health issue and getting experts to debate it - eg Should I take folic acid?), health issues discussed by suffers of a particular condition/health ambassador, an article on particularly unsavoury health issues by 'Embarrassing Illness' presenter Dr Dawn Harper, a weightloss section, articles on environmental issues, beauty tips, and a book club which reviews new and useful books in the health genre.
*experts - Doctors and other health professionals on their particular areas of expertise - eg dentists, dermatologists etc, as well as an a-z of ailments, a section on a particular supplement and a 'you ask the experts problem page
*Psychology - issues around mental wellbeing eg - mental health issues, sexual issues, self help and relationships
*Food - an article by 'Food Doctor' Ian Marber on the benefits/details fo a particular food stuff, tips on eating for a particular health condition, healthy recipes and information on how to get the best out of your food
*Fitness - focuses on particular sports/activities as well as well photographed exercises for a particular body part/health issue.
*Family - articles which span generation health issues from children to OAPs.
Helpfully, there is also a separate box in the contents page which isolates particular health conditions and their page numbers.
Alongside all of the above are advertising promotions around a particular product, 'insider' pages which are basically a collection of short articles, news and reviews around a particular aspect of health and wellbeing eg therapies, new research results, readers tips (some especially useful information here), ethical issues, food, fitness and family as well as celebrity interviews.
I think this is a really great magazine, especially considering the price. In my opinion, every single issue has some really useful information that you can take away with you. Costwise, this has far, far more interesting and useful articles than traditional womens magazines which are half the price. In fact, these are really good to be kept for reference, especially as the key issues of that particular edition are detailed on the spine.
It undergoes regular 'sprucing up' of its presentation and is always colourful and busy without being cluttered. You can easily browse through it without feeling like you are bombarded with unnecessary information. There is a fair amount of advertising, but not as much as you would expect for a magazine of this cost.
The tone of the magazine is informative and friendly. It presents information without being hectoring or lecturing you. Until recently, Gillian McKeith used to write articles on food health for the magazine in her normal vicious tone - the magazine has benefitted from her no longer being there as it has made the tone more consistent.
Contentwise it is also very fair. Although Holland & Barrett specialise in alternative and natural treatments, it does not beat you over the head with this - instead encouraging a balanced view between traditional and alternative medicine and advising readers rather than badgering them into a conclusion.
I have recommended this magazine to a lot of people, and frequently refer articles to my family if they suffer from a particular condition. I also buy every edition and enjoy sitting down with it of an evening. I will often go back to older editions just for browsing or advising on a health issue. The recipes are also very good, photographed well and appetising and relatively simple without being holier-than-thou. For instance, they always have really nice dessets which are tasty without threatening your waistline too badly.
In conclusion, this is the only magazine that I buy on a regular basis, it is almost endlessly useful, well written and has a good and measured response to health issues. For its price and what you get within it - it is a bargain!
Summary: The only magazine that I buy every month without fail