Blue Cross ads aimed at obesity: mean or necessary?Posted: October 29, 2012
I am a little late to the party commenting on these Blue Cross Minnesota ads that address the obesity epidemic. First, a couple of statistics:
- By 2019 obesity will become the leading cause of death.
- By 2030 50% of Minnesotans will be obese.
In the face of these terrifying numbers, you can see how it seems like a good idea to highlight food choices and how these choices look to our kids. These ads have been roundly criticized for being too shaming and down right mean. See for yourself.
I think the ads would be appropriate if we had a consistent and coherent message about what people need to do to lose weight; if the people in the commercials knew better, they could do better. But we don’t have these consistent messages. We live in the land of “calories in, calories out,” “Move more!” and other overly simplistic maxims about how to lose weight. We also live in a land where heavily-subsidized foods (corn, soy) are promoted as healthy, but they are making us fat.
It’s all about cravings
Anyone who reads this blog, and who is trying lose weight differently (something other than a one-size-fits-all diet), knows that losing weight takes more than this overly simplistic advice leads us to believe. If we truly want to help people, like the ones in these ads, make better choices, we need to shake off the overly simplistic advice and get real about what it takes to lose weight for the LONG TERM. Until we address the issue of people’s biochemical cravings for the bad stuff, people cannot lose weight. If we are relying on people’s will power to lose weight, which much of the advice does, they will fail over and over like I did for 30 years. No number of ads will change that.
What are your thoughts on the ads? Leave a comment.