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Thursday July 31, 2008

A Weighty Problem

I see that my chum, the good Baroness Buscombe, chief executive of the Advertising Association, is throwing her weight (no pun intended) behind the government’s new health initiative to stamp out obesity. Although I’m not for nannying of any kind, it is commendable that the advertising industry is attempting to unite the commercial sector to jointly tackle the problem with the government. Advertising can, though, only go so far. Messages may be given, even subliminally, via billboards, print press, through on-line chat rooms, and TV, but it will not diminish the entire problem.

The reasons for our obesity cri-du-coeur lie in the constant changes within our society which have seen us become a bunch of sedentary, full-on munchers. Despite world poverty, we in the West have far, far too much to eat of the wrong things and actually too much choice. Successive governments have seen fit to rob our schools and communities of playing fields and sports facilities. Where children once played, cycled, hiked and camped, they now hug their computers, play stations, game boys and any gadgetry with silly initials PS3, Wii, and Advance SP, that can be conned out of indulgent parents. How did we get it so wrong? Education through advertising is a start but what of the £75 million pounds that the government claims to be throwing at the campaign over the next few years. May I suggest that it re-installs community and school sports facilities with the bulk of that dosh before beginning its assault on the fast food commercial sector?

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  1. Dear Anna
    Are you the AN with whom I once had a great rapport, attending your wedding with my late wife Chris, visiting your London home, and having bits of fun with Guinness Books? I am now heavily retired but much involved with cycle-touring, swimming, and Duke Ellington. Regards, geoff

    * by Geoff Smith - ex-PA | Aug 11, 10:49 am