Thursday, June 21, 2012
My recent journey to lose about 20 pounds has made me acutely aware at just how insidious the ploy is to get Americans to overconsume. Here is my interpretation of some of the commercials I've seen in recent months.
THIS FOOD WILL MAKE YOUR FRIENDS LIKE YOU- THIS FOOD WILL MAKE YOU POPULAR- THIS FOOD WILL MAKE YOUR KIDS THINK YOU'RE GREAT
Watch the commercials for Pizza Bites, Sunny Delight. When the kids' friends see that he has these items, they light up and literrally pat the kid on the back. The mom is the hero.
WITHOUT THIS FOOD, YOU WILL FAIL AT YOUR GOAL
THIS FOOD BRINGS YOUR FAMILY TOGETHER
Gatoraide commercials. Enough said.
Pasta commercials depicting a family celebration, The entire family is around the table looking sad and disconnected- that is until that right pasta sauce arrives. The celebration commences and they are laughing, talking, hugging.
IT'S NOT ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU NEED, IT'S ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU CAN GET FOR YOUR DOLLAR. THE BIGGER THE BETTER
Giant serving sizes in fries, burgers, drinks, pizzas, salads, desserts
THIS FOOD DEFINES YOUR SOCIAL STATUS/WILL MAKE PEOPLE ADMIRE YOU
Look at the commercials for certain alcohols. They tie it right to image, class, and admiration. Dos Equis, Heineken
THIS FOOD IS NEEDED TO HELP YOU RELAX/IS SENSUALLY STIMULATING
Dove Chocolate- a woman slips into rapture upon eating a piece
Carl's Jr. commercials that show hot chicks consuming burgers passionately.
WE ARE NOT CAPABLE OF MAKING DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS MEALS
Frozen food commercials that show the women sitting around the lunch table, discontent with their home-made meals, while another boasts about the delicious (and salt laden) lean cuisine she purchased.
There are lots more examples to be sure. With the billons of dollars in marketing spent each year that tries to get us to consume more and more food, it's no wonder the obesity levels are sky-rocketing, and we equate responsible eating with denial, and not what it should be- our REWARD.
I truly believe that one of the keys to successful weight loss is rooted in how we communicate to ourselves about healthy eating; that it must start there before we can hope to have PERMANENT, LASTING results.