Did you notice the advertisers who brought you this special?
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.
First Break (after 8 minutes)
- 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)
- Sandals Resorts
- Movies, Xfi
- Paul’s TV Sales and Service
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
- Ad for CNN’s Erin Burnett Show
- US Postal Service
- Short ad for Republican Debate
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.
- 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)
- Movie, “Contagion”
- University of Phoenix
- iHop #2, with sausage, bacon and eggs
- Farmers Insurance
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
- Bob’s Discount Furniture
- Allegra (allergy medication)
- And the last ad (at bedtime), Bob’s Furniture advertises mattresses.
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.
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
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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