The current edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association includes an interesting study reviewing food commercials on TV. Over a 4 week time period, researchers taped food advertisements during 84 hours of prime time TV and 12 on Saturday mornings. In 3000 ads, 800 food items were promoted. The conclusions shouldn’t shock anybody who has a television set at home:
Results suggest that a diet consisting of observed food items would provid:
2,560% of the recommended daily servings for sugars
2,080% of the recommended daily servings for fat,
40% of the recommended daily servings for vegetables,
32% of the recommended daily servings for dairy, and
27% of the recommended daily servings for fruits
Got it? 25 times more sugar than we should consume, and 20 times more fat then we require. PER DAY.
Now before our blood glucose goes into orbit, let’s remember that obviously we don’t eat burgers, pancakes, and pizza every meal. Nor do we chug down 20 oz. milkshakes or Colas. But being bombarded with so many mental nudges – and then encountering vending machines, fast food joints, and other calorie ingestion opportunities every which way we turn – is taking its toll on our weight and our health.
This isn’t why our nation is fat, but it sure is one of the contributors. It’s much easier to package a candybar than figure out how to make money off branding kale.