Friday, October 17, 2008

Mixed messages

In Friday's Denver Post (10/17/2008) on page 2A at the top of the page is a blurb and 2 photos about a fellow in Uniontown, PA who at a 20 pound cheeseburger. It took him 4 1/2 hours to complete this task. Is this a good thing? Something to be proud of? Apparently so since he is shown in the "after" photo smiling and holding up his empty plate. Directly below these photos however, is a story about a study done by Oregon Research Institute researchers that says "Slim people have higher food 'yum'" - essentially saying a study was conducted that suggested some people don't get the dopamine "hit" other get when they eat a tasty treat (like a milkshake) so they could be overeating to compensate (i.e., get a dopamine hit). This seems like a case of mixed messages to me. First, we are told eating a 20 pound cheeseburger is a triumph worthy of printing photos in the paper. Then we see a story about researchers trying to find reasons why people are obese. Ummmmm, maybe it's because we promote this amazing feet of craming 20 pounds of meat in your face? No, I'm sure that's not it.

This reminds me of public service ad I saw on television once that was encouraging kids to leave the house and tell an adult if one of their friends was playing with a real gun. It was highlighting the tragedy that happens all too often when kids find their parent's gun in the house and accidentally shoot a sibling or a friend while playing. Immediately after this public service ad a commercial for a video game that involved shooting the "bad guy" came on and I think the tag line was something like "shoot 'em dead".

Talk about mixed messages.

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