The first time around the political and legal push against low-nutrition, high-calorie food, just like lead paint, gained plenty of attention. Then more or less fizzled. The cause never gained the momentum that the crusade against tobacco did which led to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement [TMA]. Perhaps that mission lacked the cunning mind and leadership of a plaintiff lawyer like Dickie Scruggs. A comprehensive, insight history of the TMA is in KINGS OF TORT, by Alan Lange.
That could be changing. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [PCRM] is renewing the focus, this time with significant media savvy, reports Bob Marshall on Mediabistro’s AGENCY SPY. For one thing it is targeting a very specific product: the cheeseburger, rather than poor food choices generically. For another, it’s doing it dramatically with sizzle, including the perfect overweight corpse. And third, the reach is wide. The Public Service Ad will start out on the “The Daily Show” and local Washington D.C. markets, then play in other markets.
In addition, timing, which is everything, is great. Budget-challenged government agencies at every level can’t absorb the health costs of maladies correlated with unhealthy eating habits. Even if better economic times were to come, there is still the financial burden of the generation of obese children with their chronic problems such as diabetes.
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