$$ Dollars and Sense of “The Last Heart Attack”

Did you notice the advertisers who brought you this special?

The sweepstakes winner with four ads for artery-clogging ice cream in a one hour show dedicated to curing heart disease.

Whenever I see a program like this one, I like to go back and take note of who was paying for it. My very first blog back in February 2011, featured a Barbara Walters “heart attack” special that also included President Clinton. Similar in some ways to Sanjay Gupta’s documentary, Barbara came up way short in being real clear about what we need to do in order to prevent heart disease or reverse it if you already have it. A link to that first blog is provided below.

So yesterday morning after showing my recorded “Last Heart Attack” to Alexandra Stoddard and Peter in my home, I went back and took a look at the various advertisers. The first thing I noticed (within the content prior to the first break) was that they showed the covers of the South Beach Diet books which were written by Dr. Arthur Agatston — the inventor of the Coronary Calcium Scan and prominent throughout the show. I am sure some viewers were confused by that subtle message. Here is an overweight MD who has written an Atkins-type diet book for losing weight and is now on a documentary, whose primary focus is on a diet that that promotes lots of whole plants compared to his diet that encourages a lot of animal protein.

The message in this book is contrary to the message of the "special;" probably confusing to some of the viewers.

First Break (after 8 minutes)

  • Verizon
  • SuperPages
  • Movie “Warrior”
  • Hagen Daz Ice Cream — featuring fruits, honey and children; posing as a healthy food.
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Sleep Number Beds

Second Break (18 minutes)

  • BeneFul Dogfood
  • Chase Bank
  • Golden Corral (with greasy foods featured)
  • Hagen Daz #2, with same phony health message
  • Arthritis Pads (depending on unhealthy diets to stay in business)
  • SuperPages
  • Sandals Resorts
  • Movies, Xfi
  • Paul’s TV Sales and Service

Their two ads features meat and dairy with hardly even a glimpse of a whole plant.

Third Break (27 Minutes)

  • iHop ad with overweight police woman eating lots of meat and dairy with breakfast.
  • Big G cereal ads pretending to be heart healthy, including Cheerios and Lucky Charms (the latter with 14 grams of added sugar and 238 mg of sodium per serving. See my earlier post on Cheerios.
  • Mobil (oil sands project in Canada)
  • Movie “The Debt”
  • Hagen Daz #3
  • Medicare
  • Ad for CNN’s Erin Burnett Show
  • US Postal Service
  • Short ad for Republican Debate

Their two ads also promoted the unhealthy foods that people love; eggs, cheese, sausage, etc.

Fourth Break (39 minutes)

  • Lipitor –“Diet and exercise weren’t enough for me. I stopped kidding myself, I’ve been eating heathier, exercising more and now I’m also taking Lipitor.” Of course, about half the ad covered the warnings of “other” terrible things that might happen to you if you take this toxic drug for lowering your cholesterol.
  • SuperPages
  • Fiber One cereal, probably the healthiest of all items advertised — it even had zero added sugar; but check out the list of ingredients, bearing in mind that whole plants have only ONE. (Corn Bran, Whole Grain Wheat, Wheat Bran, Corn Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Guar Gum, Color Added, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Baking Soda, Corn Oil, Aspartame, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), A B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), A B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness)
  • AT&T
  • Movie, “Contagion”
  • University of Phoenix
  • iHop #2, with sausage, bacon and eggs
  • Farmers Insurance

Marshmallows for your children's breakfast -- and we wonder why our children are obese and have type 2 diabetes before they're teenagers.

Then, within the program itself at Minute-45, Sanjay gives the meat, egg and dairy industry spokespersons a chance to get in their two cents. With about 15 seconds each, their collective message was almost laughable; plus, two out of the three spokspersons were noticeably overweight as they talked absurdly about the health benefits of eating beef, eggs and cheese.

Fifth and Final Break (50 minutes)

  • Chevrolet Trucks
  • BeneFul Dogfood “omega rich”
  • Golden Corral with pictures of fish and shrimp, with pictures of beef and chicken.
  • University of Phoenix #2
  • Hagen Daz #4
  • Verizon
  • SuperPages
  • Bob’s Discount Furniture
  • Allegra (allergy medication)
  • And the last ad (at bedtime), Bob’s Furniture advertises mattresses.

I know this comment will make me sound old, but this cereal has more ingredients than Carter had pills.

Executive Summary. There were a total of 42 ads which filled 19 minutes of a one hour show. Eleven of those ads were for foods with only one of them featuring a product that was even remotely good for you — Fiber One. But did you notice that science project list of ingredients in that product and the fact that the #1 ingredient, corn bran, is not whole grain?

Three more of the ads had some relationship to healthy living and the cost of health care; two drug ads and one ad for Medicare. Knowing that advertisers plan the positioning of their ad very carefully, I noticed that the Lipitor ad appeared only once, and it was two-thirds into the show, when people might be looking for the “easy pill” way to save their life and keep them off that Tom Bare operating table.

Dollars and Sense. As the movement away from meat and dairy gathers momentum, the folks in the business of statin drugs, high-cholesterol foods, and greasy restaurant meals are in for a rude awakening. In the meantime, there will likely be a lot of confusion among the food and drug producers and the viewers who wonder why their product is being advertised on a particular show.

Winners and losers. What happens when people stop eating so much meat and dairy.?Restaurants can always change their menus to whatever products people want; but the pharmaceutical companies will someday find themselves in a business that produces products that most people no longer need. I hope to live to see the day. The big winners will be the people and their families who choose a health-promoting diet of whole, plant-based foods. Another big winner will be our planet itself which is suffering mightily from the relentless damage being inflicted by our incredibly harmful diet of meat and dairy three meals a day.

When you read this blog on 9-10-11, I will be cruising to Block Island -- but not on Moonglow (She was damaged by Irene) -- Some are forecasting 20-foot rolling swells with Katia passing in the distance.

Once again, Thank you Sanjay Gupta and CNN for bringing us this great show…and thank you Lucky Charms for helping to pay for it.

This link contains two videos of the special (one short, the other full-length. Gupta over Oz…when it comes to CLARITY! (Video included)

My first blog, mentioned earlier: Barbara Walters…A Missed Opportunity


If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com

PS: Rate this post below and see the results of the voting…One more thing, occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard.

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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1 Response to $$ Dollars and Sense of “The Last Heart Attack”

  1. Craig Holman says:

    Thank you so much for this site. I am certified by Colin Campbell Foundation and really really appreciate all the movement toward a more whole foods plant based approach to living. I am a podiatrist. I just had a patient in my office with heart disease. She has been given an increasing dosage of diuretics for pitting ankle edema. She has shortness of breath. You would think they would like to see her. Not today. Furthermore, not one physician has addressed the concept of turning off the fawcett rather than mopping the floor. Thanks for the information in this site.


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