I Was Lovin' It Until I Saw This Commercial
In a PSA from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine we see a dean man laying on a gurney with his grieving wife at his side. As the camera pans down his body, we see the man is holding a half-eaten hamburger. As the camera pans to his feet, we see the Golden Arches drawn over his cold feet and we hear a voice over tells us all the bad things a non-vegetarian diet can do to us.
The message is clear. McDonald's is killing us. Of course that's totally untrue. Much like the pro-gun camp would say, food doesn't kill people, people who put the wrong kind or too much of it in their mouth do. Obesity and all that comes with eating bad food isn't caused by a marketing campaign. It's caused by shoving the wrong food in one's mouth.
Of course, the proliferation of bad food and the high cost of healthy alternatives doesn't make it easy for many to eat well. Unquestionably, it's a challenge to eat healthy these days but McDonald's isn't killing people. Nor is Burger King. Nor is any not-so-healthy food brand.
People control what they eat. If they eat poorly, they pay the consequences. Not the marketer.
At the same time, that doesn't mean a brand shouldn't be publicly chastised because it sells unhealthy food. Not at all. Food marketers certainly have a role to play in helping America (and every other developed country) keep its collective beer gut and muffin top to a minimum.
Blaming marketers isn't the solution. Education is the answer.