Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - Obesity Issue Needs Patience

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - Obesity Issue Needs Patience

Article excerpt

Scare stories in the past few weeks have highlighted salt, sugar and even salad as potential killers.

Consumers are being left in a confusing no man's land. We are now overloaded with choice - supermarkets are positively bursting with ways to eat more.

We have celebrity chefs galore on TV and more nutritional information than ever. Yet, as we are given more alternatives, so our anxiety about eating increases. There is a 'food doctor' in West London who has a two-month waiting list.

What a person eats has become akin to what he or she believes in, with all the pleasures, worries, denials, obsessions and uncertainty this entails. Indeed, this culture has all the potential for leaping into paranoia in the same way the US did during the McCarthy witch hunts in the 50s. Joe Bloggs from Milton Keynes is beginning to glance over his shoulder in his local Kwik Save.

Everyone seems to be on a diet or trying to understand the labels on groceries. Once happily laden with a comfortable tyre around their midriff, these consumers are now being mesmerised by the small print on the back of packs of sausages and Coke cans, fuelled by the fear that they may be exceeding their daily allowance.

Simple answers to complex questions are rarely correct and the current obesity debate is no exception. To be fair, banning food advertising and criticising manufacturers in the belief that obesity will magically go away is a little cynical and naive. …

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