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How Not to Fight Childhood Obesity: Equating Parents With Drug Dealers

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 1, 2010 11:45 AM

Two weeks ago we brought you the ad from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine that equated eating fast food with death. The "I was loving' it" campaign was clearly more of a cry for attention for the group than it ever was an actual attempt to change behavior.

Now, a new commercial from Down Under shows that America is positively reasonable when it comes to advertising the harmful effects of fast food.

The "Break the Habit" PSA from The Precinct studio in Sydney goes for shock value, straight up saying that giving kids fast food is no different than cooking up a bowl of heroin and mainlining it into their vein. Precinct's Facebook page boasts that "Our latest commercial continues to gain traction."

"Traction" clearly being the only real goal despite the ad's stated intention: "By comparing junk food to drug abuse, the commercial aims to make parents stop and think about their actions and remind them that junk food is a major contributor of childhood obesity, which is linked to a variety of chronic illnesses."

Bravo. Nothing like making parents and caregivers feel like criminals to get them on the side of your cause.

The downside to all of this, of course, is that reasonable approaches to nutrition education have to try that much harder to cut through the clutter and the feelings of persecution.

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