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The Gender of Nutrition, My Afterlife as a Dog, Etc.

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Women may need "feminist foods" like fish need bicycles, but that hasn't stopped the rise of brands formulated specifically for them. An article in Health proclaims, "There's a new women's movement, and it's heading to a supermarket near you." Exemplifying the trend are such "girlfriend groceries" as Quaker Oatmeal Nutrition for Women and French Meadow Bakery Women's Bread. Each has nutrients that are "of particular importance to women." The magazine looks at the category with a skeptical eye, noting that women can thrive on a diet of healthy "gender-neutral" foods. But since when are consumers guided by what they need rather than what they imagine they need?

For reasons best known to themselves, ABC News and Beliefnet commissioned an ICR poll that asked: Do pets go to heaven? Slightly more people said "yes" than "no" (43 percent vs. 40 percent). Pet owners were more likely to foresee their animals among the heavenly host (47 percent "yes," 35 percent "no"). Having digested the data, marketers of pet treats may run ads whose theme is, "Fido may not get his reward in heaven, so be sure to give it to him today."

Honors this week for Best-Dressed Character in a Wireless-Phone Ad go to Nokia. Our hero is so fascinated by his Internet-enabled Nokia that he forgets the proximity of his four-legged co-star. The ad comes from Bates' office in Singapore, not heretofore known as a hotbed of bullfighting imagery.

No wonder women outlive men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds women 33 percent more likely than men to go to a doctor (based on 1997-98 data), even excluding pregnancy-related visits. For annual physicals and preventive services, women went twice as often as men. Women age 15-44 averaged 3.8 visits per year; those 65-plus went about twice as often.

Need to unload a stock? Sell it to a Wired subscriber. In a reader poll on investment strategy these days, far more respondents said they're buying than selling (36 percent vs. 8 percent, with the rest merely holding).