TED Conversations

Andrew Matonak

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Advertising a healthy diet the same way that junk food companies advertise to the public in subversive ways.

We should change the extent of what foods should be allowed to use different psychological mechanisms to subversively in order to increase appetite for said foods. Every day, every year children and adults alike are bombarded with how certain food and drinks can make us feel better and become more popular. Unfortuately, the majority of this advertising is subversive in its ploys and albiet not very good for us. We should tip the scale in the healthy direction by large scale, expensive, advertising schemes to trick children and adults to eat healthier food and drinks. It seems only fair to at least have both healthy and non-healthy along side each other in the social and public media. We cannot stop junk food companies from selling (and pushing) their products but we can make a change to fill our suggestive subconscious with a multitude of products of different quality.

+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 25 2013: Although I'd fully endorse this idea, the problem is that the opposition have a major advantage, refined sugar. Sugar accounts for the main gains in fat, a variety of diseases, poor blood sugar and the worst one of them all... addictiveness; more addictive as some illegal drugs.
    So the fight needs to come from both fronts: education from a young age in both how to cook and what ingredients do what, as well as the fight from companies to push products that are evolutionally more suitable for the human being (not advocating the paleo diet for everyone), also legal and political pressure (e.g. government advertising, possible taxes (although this is a tricky area to implement))
    • Feb 25 2013: Addictiveness is an important factor to consider in overcoming the unhealthy, fat rich diet of modern day humans. I have read in a scientific paper recently that one of the active chemicals in cocoa is even more addictive than herion and is being used by the tobacco industry to make cigarettes more addictive. The concoction of chemicals in cocoa, after processed, is less effective but ultimately not sugar. Chocolate has long been seen as both great in moderation and mysterious in its metabolic function. I also agree that political action got us here, but we are a democratic political industry. Why not influence the public policy by inserting people that are involved in companies producing healthier foods into the higher power positions.
      • thumb
        Feb 25 2013: I can't say I ever heard of that paper but would be interested in seeing it, another profit-driven venture I'd imagine! I wonder whether the drive to make things more addictive is the industries way to combat wealth of knowledge and awareness around the problems their products and services incur?

        If only they had the mind to embrace change, surely long-term investment in healthier products will drive a transition which ultimately would retain profit. If a proposed tax on soft drinks (which is currently being considered) was used to force improvements in nutritional content with the tax being lifted when a product eventually hit more acceptable levels. Agreed we are a democratic system, but in UK voting, there's such a low level because no one believes anything they do will make a difference; there seems to be a systemic problem of hidden agendas even if rules, regulations and documentation are meant to be transparent

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.