What the experts say – In June of 2010 Time Magazine published an article entitled “What if you ate only what was advertised on TV?” The article was based on research published in the Journal of the American Diabetic Association which suggests that TV ads for food may be skewing our decisions in powerful ways. To better understand how unhealthy a TV-guided diet would be, researchers studied food commercials that appeared during 84 hours of prime-time programming and 12 hours of Saturday morning cartoons broadcast over the major U.S. Networks. Their findings are based on a 2000 calorie per day diet containing only foods that were advertised and are as follows:
- Exceeds the recommended daily amount of fat by 20x.
- Contains 25X the recommended daily intake of sugar.
- Provides less than half the recommended daily intake of fruit, vegetables, and dairy.
- In the year the study takes place food-makers spent 11.3 billion to sell, USDA spent $268mm to educate
How do you defend yourself and your family? Don’t watch the food
How I did it – I don’t watch TV all that much, unless I’m at the cigar shop and even when we do watch TV we always mute the commercials, not just the food commercials, all of them. One of my favorite shows was about a guy who went around the country taking on the most outrageous food challenges. He started off looking very fit, ballooned up, then went back to looking fit. One day it dawned on me that I was watching this man kill himself, literally! So I went off that show and all food shows cold turkey, and I remember in my notes writing that it seems like I’m not fighting the cravings as much. Is that happening because I stopped watching the food?