October 11, 2012 by nutritionpolicy2012
What are your thoughts on this new campaign by the CSPI?
I hadn’t seen that before – pretty aggressive against big soda! Although I’m sure the beverage lobbyists will fight back saying that soda does not cause diabetes and it can be part of a balanced diet.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
I really loved it up to the first minute and a half, but then it turned into Adult Swim meets Quentin Tarantino. Really good social commentary, but really too graphic for my taste. I think drastic messages and scare tactics work on society; however, I thought the point was well made before they started chain sawing diabetic polar bear legs off!
I find the jab at Coca Cola pretty amusing (Coke often uses polar bears in their commercials) – but when the chainsaw came on screen, I turned it off. Too dark. By that point, the commercial had actually made me kind of angry for two reasons: 1) the commercial is very focused on the individual’s actions as the cause of obesity and 2) the commercial uses common tropes to make fun of the fat bears (clothes tearing, getting stuck in an ice hole). I’m skeptical of the commercial’s ability to sway the public; though we know that high-emotion messages are typically more effective at gaining attention than boring PSAs, the attention doesn’t always translate into changed behavior. In fact, it reminds me of this article I saw recently explaining that highly stigmatizing anti-obesity campaigns can be counter-productive because people often cope with stigma by eating more:
I thought it was a clever play on the Coca Cola bears but the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s not really an accurate portrayal of the multifaceted causes of diabetes. I know plenty of people who drink soda all the time and don’t have diabetes. Not that I think soda should be a regular part of anyone’s diet, but I also don’t think you can blame the diabetes epidemic on soda in and of itself.
I also thought it got a bit dark in the end. Scare tactics work but whether or not they’re necessary is up for debate.
I also thought it was clever. As polar bears are my favorite animal, this was sadder to watch than I care to admit. But, did it help foster discussions about the important issue of America’a addiction to soft drinks? Yes. Was it a completely accurate display of long term soda intake? No Will I share this video with others? Yes….
By the way, was that Jason Mraz’s voice?
I think these commercials will continue to promote the “good” vs “bad” categorization the public often uses to classify food. Vilifying soda and sugar may not be the most effective way to get people to eat healthier because who knows what the public will replace their soda consumption with. And for the emotional eaters, telling them to simply “dump the unhappy” doesn’t help them deal with the underlying problem they are trying to cope with.
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