Have you seen the recent “lifestyle” television ad in which a woman of fortyish is expressing her desire to lose weight? Which one of a thousand you ask? This ad is peculiar because it doesn’t really hardsell anything. It shows a woman being active, laughing with friends, etc.
There are two moments in this commerical that drive me nuts: 1) said woman is standing on a scale, we see her side profile, her body is awesome; 2) said woman is sitting in a chair, we see her side profile, her body is awesome. Seriously, she could have hosted the 20 Minute Workout back in the day.
The ad ends with “Ask your doctor about Julie’s story…” This is where I become suspicious… is it a pharmaceutical ad? Under Canadian law, when advertising prescription drugs to the public, companies can only state the name, price and dosage of a product, and not what it is used to treat (assuming this is a Canadian ad). In this case, whichever evil mega-drug lord it is chose not to convey a drug at all. Instead we’re treated to vague notions that thin women need to lose weight to be happier (even if it’s five pounds) and can do so by asking their doctor about Julie.
There are two issues here. One is our ridiculous culture of thin and I think I’ve said enough here. The other issue is health care. I’m certainly five pounds overweight… does this mean that the next time I go to the doctor, she might say, “have you heard of Julie’s story? Let me tell you…” if I don’t ask first? Is there incentive for her?
Doctors should not be pushed to act as ambassadors to further the agenda of a money-lording corporate drug empire who plays on cultural insecurities. But they are and at the same time we’re getting farther and farther away from healthcare solutions based on diet, excercise, centuries of learning, healing etc.
It makes me angry. Who is there to trust anymore?