Posts Tagged ‘diet’

The Real Deal On Advertising V

Hello! This is Clonez, admin of skydays147 .wordpress .com. Love is in the air this Valentines Day. What better way to impress your loved one than dieting. Who should you trust when it comes to losing weight?

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This time of year is on us again! The holidays have ended, and we are now being thrown all of the diet and weight loss advertisements to juggle into our daily lives. Before January 1st, the dormant health advertisements were out of our way because of the feasting and eating of the holiday season. They were like a big brown bear sleeping during hibernation. And when that clock struck midnight of the new year, those ads for NutriSystem, Weight Watchers, Atkins Diet, Jenny Craig, and Medifast have popped up in all places: on billboards, in magazines, on radio, on television, and have been exploded throughout the world wide web in the place of banner ads and pop-ups.  Just like that bear waking up and making a big loud roar to awaken the surroundings. There’s no question why we fall for these advertisements. This goes back to the previous subject I had hinted on: temporary role models. There is a simple equation that is followed when this happens: see = become. We try to become whatever we see, and if we don’t we suffer from that inner feeling of not fitting in because of weight.

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I used to make fun of diets when I was little. It was a pretty easy thing to make fun of because of the number of ridiculous scams that these companies come up with. There is a pretty easy concept that I learned back in the good-old-days of Health class that almost everyone should follow when they want to go on a diet. This concept is known as Health Literacy, which basically means that you know enough to take care of your body. You know what products are right and safe for you. To me, it is a little thing known as “common sense”. Sometimes this may be a tricky thing to follow, but other times there are scams that you obviously have the common sense to avoid. There was this one weight loss product that I see every single time I go to Walgreens when my parents go to pick up prescriptions: the Hollywood Cookie Diet. Whenever I look at this product, I have to feel bad for the people who buy this and think it is going to make them lose weight. “If the message is too good to be true, then it is probably not true. You need to diet and exercise to lose weight,” Timothy Muris of the Federal Trade Commission chairman. I totally agree, because there are some things that can be part of your imagination. I had talked about this before when I said that you should not let your mind run wild. What you do with this is you replace every single meal that you have during the day with one cookie. Of course, cookies may be a tasty, delectable treats, but they are not something that will make you lose weight. Even if you do lose weight, it isn’t going to be fat you are losing; it is going to be all or mainly muscle, which will get you further and further from obtaining your perfect body. More than half of Americans have a problem with their weight, and the quick idea of taking a pill and not having to do the hard work of diet and exercise lures a lot of people (1). I don’t know anyone who would disagree with this statement. As we all know, the level of obesity in the United States has been going up over the past few years, and people will do anything to lose the pounds and still abstain from any exercise at all.

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Most people do not realize how horrible the free meal programs are. There is a pretty devilish way that those companies make a profit out of you. The first part of this method is when you start out by getting the free meals delivered to your doorstep every day. You become attached to them for the next few weeks, or months. Once you are satisfied with your weight, you decide to get off the diet plan and return back to your usual eating customs. This is where step two comes in: you lose most of your health literacy when you switch back and thus you start to gain weight all over again. Step three would be addiction to the product. You then decide that you want to lose weight again and you realize, “hey! This method actually worked for me!” So you switch back to the free meals and the cycle continues over and over. By doing this you lose money and your health literacy diminishes to almost nothing. There is no wonder why Americans spend $1 billion to 2 billion per year on weight-loss programs (1). People are so tempted to keep spending more and more of their money for the perfect body.

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Probably one of the hardest places that these advertisements have hit is right here on the internet. Everywhere I turn, I see some form of advertising on a web page that has to do with weight loss. Recently I have been seeing a lot of third-party weight loss banner ads. The one I have been seeing the most is “Maria’s Diet Blog,” which is apparently another one of those stories of some persons method to losing weight. There have been ones that I just have to make fun of. I just noticed that they started to put animated banner ads and pop-ups on websites. There is this one where a persons belly is shown, but the fat part of it is jiggling around. It is pretty sad, yet hilarious to watch. How can a person’s jiggly fat draw in people to that weight loss scam? It’s completely ridiculous.

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Before and after pictures are another problem when it comes to diet advertising. They are so easy to fall into because it is like evidence is put right in front of your face about a particular diet program. Before and after pictures have a few other uses, for example showing the results of a pimple cream after use or a wrinkle remover for older people. There is one thing that all of these things have in common: they all lie to you. I heard from reading Made You Look that there is some law that has to be followed when making a before and after picture. The advertisers are allowed to modify the before picture, but not the after picture. This is because the after picture shows the actual results and that is what advertisers have to sell. They aren’t supposed to sell that you have to be obese before doing the particular diet plan. It is just that people choose to show one in order to have some kind of giant leap of change to influence the consumer. They are allowed to modify the image so that the before person is uglier, more overweight, and basically less attractive. One other thing that advertisers do is make the image in black and white to make it seem more depressing. They then have the after picture with all of its vibrant colors. Andrew B. Geier, lead author and a graduate student in Penn’s Department of Psychology, once said, “While highlighting dramatic weight loss, before and after images ignore the reality of dieting and encourage the notion that losing weight is easy” (2). Before and after advertising makes it seem like you can easily control your weight, which is not the reality of the whole process. It should take a really long time to lose actual weight from fat, it really isn’t something that is lost in a week or three.

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When it comes to diet advertising, the best solution you can trust on is not trusting what is put in front of your nose. It can be a cautious move towards hurting your health. If you want to diet, follow your own plan by getting enough excersize and eating healthy foods. Those are the first steps towards changing those bad habits and returning to a healthier weight.

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(1)Stein, Joel. ” Miracle-Diet Ads Lie? Well, Duh!.” TIME. 23 Sep 2003. TIME partners with CNN. 14 Feb 2009 <http://www.time.com/time/columnist/stein/article/0,9565,353736,00.html&gt;.

(2)Scott, Jennifer R.. “Before & After Ads Lead to Bias.” About.com. 10 Nov 2008. About.com. 14 Feb 2009 <http://weightloss.about.com/cs/bodyimage/a/aa040404a.htm&gt;.

Edited By Dublanous1

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