So, I’m cruising through my treadmill run the other day while watching The Today Show. They were airing a segment on the benefits of CT scans for the early detection of lung cancer that was being discussed, debated and dissected by various medical experts. Good stuff to know for sure.
Then, as the segment ends, an announcer states: "The Today Show’s health segment is brought to you by Jimmy Dean Pork Sausages." Huh?
I nearly fell off the treadmill (and re-injured my oh-so-sore calf muscle in the process. But, that’s a different story). As I watched, I saw a commercial pop on the screen extolling the virtues of a hearty breakfast of pork sausages to start the day off on the right foot.
So I immediately wondered: why in God’s name would the producers of a health segment allow it to be sponsored by a heart-clogging, obesity-causing pork product? Now, don’t get me wrong. From a marketing and awareness standpoint, this is quite a coup for Jimmy Dean who, I’m sure, is producing some sort of low cal, low cholesterol version of their meat and want to re-position the product, but c’mon! The people at The Today Show should be ashamed of themselves for sending mixed, if not disingenuous, messages to their audiences. On one hand, they’re airing news and tips on how to stay healthy. On the other hand, they’re cashing checks from companies pushing products that, at the very least, don’t promote a healthy lifestyle.
It’s time someone placed a wake-up call to The Today Show and pointed out that this sort of Janus-faced programming undermines their image and reputation.
A heathly lifestyle starts in the home. A child’s eating habits are formed from an early age. If child A grows up eating donuts, chips, and fried foods, there is a heafty (pun intended) chance he or she will eat that way their entire life. That child, A, will watch the the Today Show, pay attention to the health segment, and basically ignore all they just learned when they become entised by the Jimmy Dean promo. They have been programed to be a careless eater. However, the next child, B, learns from an early age that there are negative reprocussions from poor eating habits. This child grows up learning important facts about food, and what is and isn’t healthy. Child B watches the segment about healthy living and identifies with what is said thus furthering their belief in a healthy lifestyle if not learning some new info. Once they hear the Jimmy Dean plug and watch the commercial (if they haven’t already changed the channel) they will ignore the message just as child A had ignored the health message.
With that said, people with a weight problem often know they have one, and every so often they look into a trendy diet to address the issue. This is the problem with the diets. They are durational and have no longevity. Someone may lose 15 pounds over 2 months, but then the diet plan stops and eventually that person gains that weight back. Health is a lifestyle, a mindframe, a habit in itself. I strongly believe that it is soley in the hands of parents of children to set up a foundation for their child’s health. This isn’t to say that once a child grows up and begins to make his or her own choices that they may put down the soda and pick up a glass of water (that was my experience). I am just saying that parents put a child at an extremely high risk for poor health if they don’t teach their children about food and health from day 1.
What are these guys thinking?
Maybe NBC actually thinks that the way to fight obesity is through breakfast meat.
As heart healthy as processed meat sounds, I’ll stick to Cheerios.