By 2030, over 86% of Americans will be OBESE.
And who’s to blame?
That’s right, I said it.
And you thought that they were already doing their part to keep America trim by encouraging all of America’s young women to develop eating disorders in order to look like Angelina Jolie or Keira Knightley.
Well, according to weight-loss expert Dr. Martin Schiff, “Hollywood must share the blame for the obesity epidemic. Every day we see examples of overeating, gorging, food play and general disregard for health in movies and TV shows. No wonder millions of people are overweight.”
Seriously doc, you’re kidding…right?
Nope. He goes on.
“Just as a cigarette hanging from the lips of a “cool” actor can encourage smoking, scenes of gluttony and indiscriminate eating promote obesity in children, according to the good doctor.
He now wants the film industry to introduce a special “O for Obesity” rating so that parents can judge whether a film is suitable.
He also suggests an SE (Suggestive Eating) designation for movies that use fast-food companies in their marketing campaigns.
And this is where he may get his way.
Last month, the FTC issued a report showing that the nation’s largest food and drink companies, including the fast-food chains, spend about $1.6 billion a year marketing their “food” to America’s children.
While most of that money was spent on television commercials, the FTC says that about $200 million of it was spent on cross promotion.
And it’s this cross promotion spending that has got U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s shorts in a knot.
Harkin has been complaining for years about children being enticed to make poor food choices. He questions why the same minds and money behind all this marketing can’t be turned to attracting kids to “healthy snacks, tasty cereals, fruits and vegetables.”
Probably because the fruit and vegetable producers don’t have the marketing budgets of the breakfast cereal, pop and snack food producers.
So what is Senator Harkin going to do?
- In New York, the city’s health department passed and is enforcing a law requiring all chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus.
- In Los Angeles, city council has banned the opening of any new fast food restaurants for the next year.
- San Jose, California is considering a similar moratorium.
- Across the pond, the Dutch are debating the merits of a nation wide fat-food restaurant ban.
So really, is it that big a stretch to think that some combination of government and public pressure may push Hollywood into slapping a couple of new rating categories on the next Hollywood blockbuster.
I mean, come on. The last thing we want is for poor old Angelina Jolie to get any fatter than she already is.