Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Should health campaigns focus on health or on obesity?

I listen to radio often, mainly because local news are updated faster than in television. But what I hate is the new ads of the Health Department in Mexico, particularly the ones that belong to one of the subdivisions of this department, IMSS (or Mexican Social Security Institute).

I don't hate this campaign because I don't agree that Mexicans are not taking care of their health. In fact, I completely agree and there should be some way to avoid sickness that comes when obesity rates are higher, like diabetes.

I am against the way they try to promote a healthy way of living. Firs of all, the words they use. The dialog goes (more or less) like this.

Man: I was fat before, but my girlfriend convinced me that I should do something about it, so, I came to the IMSS and now I feel better.
Woman: And he looks more handsome.

What? I mean, I can see the Health Department is trying to use vanity to make people do something about their health, but, what are they going to cause?

I have the same feeling as with the other campaing I wrote about. If they focus in the way you look and not in the way you feel they are causing people to have more prejudice than they already have against people who is overweight or obese. Also, they are sending some kind of message that being like this is REALLY bad, without saying why, just that is bad and you should be thin no matter what. Is this what we need in a world full with people wanting to be thin no matter what? In a world with teens that doesn't know how to be healthy and eat well, people in general who doesn't know how to avoid falling in things like anorexia or bulimia?

Well, it's just an opinion, anyway.

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