I like to read the NY Times from time to time and I ran across on interesting article with regards to health but more so on the current advertising campaign that is for a lot of people, fightening.
We all know that as a country we are getting larger and as of right now, the obesity epidemic is spreading like wildfire. Do we need to be reminded by scary ads telling us what is going to happen to us if we stay the way we are?
New York City rolled out a new advertising campaign that is not pulling any punches. Ads showing morbidly obese people talking about the things they can no longer do, showing people with missing legs talking about what diabetes has done to their lives..do the ads go to far and does scaring people actually provide the intended results?
My opinion is that no it does not. Not all the time anyways. I have a hard time believing anymore that people don’t know what being overweight or obese will lead to. There is far to much information in circulation telling us the health consequences and what I have found with addiction is that you need to want to make a change for change to actually occur. Showing me a scary ad may affect me but will it affect me enough to make a change. Going to a Dr and having a Dr tell me that I have heart disease or diabetes…well that would be something that would make me want to change.
When it comes to weight loss or addictions in general it comes down to choices. You either make the choice to do what you need to do or you don’t. You have to want to make the change and I don’t know if scary ads do that.
The NYC Department of Health made the following statement as it explained its approach: “When science tells us that smoking does not cause lung cancer or that obesity is not driving an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes, we will stop depicting those facts in ads. Until then we are going to accurately convey the facts in our advertising – advertising that has helped to successfully reduce smoking in New York City to a historic low of 14 percent, saving thousands of lives.”
In the end it still will alwasys come down to personal choice and a person has to decide for themselves what they want to do and when they want to do. My hope is that everyone realizes what they need to do before it becomes to late.