When I am efforting* weight loss, I find myself paying a lot more attention to food on the TV. With the exception of the Food Network, especially Lynne Koplitz, I am annoyed by food-related television during my periods of binge starving.
I am annoyed by commercials for food that make trendy health claims about food that predates the trend in question. I am especially annoyed by these claims when they are made via elaborate disclaimer. Here I am thinking of Burger King.
I witnessed yesterday a spot espousing the Whopper as a sandwich containing “only five-point-(something) grams of carbs!” While this proclamation was made in both graphic and verbal form, there was a disclaimer at the bottom in about four point type reading “*Does not include ketchup, mayonnaise, or bun.**” Yes. It actually tried to disclaim the bun as a part of the burger being shown, with bun, AT THAT VERY MOMENT.
I am excited for the Lie Big, Correct Small ad strategy to spread:
I am annoyed by food items that should be satirical throwaways on the fucking Simpsons. Here’s a quiz:
Which of the following is not a real item currently being video-pimped?
a) A breakfast sandwich composed of bacon, egg, and cheese betwixt two maple-syrup flavored pancakes.
b) A burger topped with bacon, ham, and a fried egg.
c) A special sale price on an extra shot of hot fudge in every milkshake.
It’s “b” – the Good Morning Burger – but still, two of those are freakin’ real. Lawdamighty. No wonder we are a nation of 747’s, your narrator included.
I am annoyed by the emergence of low-carb diets as an Official Fad. While I am totally in favor of this method, as it works like all hell for me, I liked it better when everybody wasn’t getting after it. While it is nice to be able to buy low-carb bread at the Jewel, it isn’t worth the eureka-style advertising, the lectures from bandwagoneers and from the low-fat disciples, and the inevitable appearance of Oscar Mayer’s Jared Equivalent.
I am annoyed by the accompanying bad science reporting. Here’s a lesson in TV News “Science” Reporting 101:
Life Cycle Of A Science Story
1) Every January 1, every Assignment Desk in the nation seeks diet stories. (Or quitting smoking, or exercise. Resolution stories.)
2) 20/20 Producer notes that, technically, the Montignac Diet allows foie gras and chocolate.
3) Story runs about “The Foie Gras and Chocolate Diet” with accompanying photos of luscious pate and enormous desserts. Story implies that this is all one eats on this diet. Nutritionists who have a lot invested in the food-is-poison philosophy attack the method.
4) Montignac issues statement correcting 20/20, pointing out that the diet is mostly green vegetables, whole grains, and meat; and that foie gras and chocolate are allowed only in small amounts and once one has finished losing weight.
5) 20/20 runs smug followup story, “Montignac Revises Diet Guidelines After 20/20 Exposé!”
I am annoyed by a Taco Bell commercial that I’ve heard twice an hour all week in which it is implied that if one doesn’t eat lavishly of the offal served at Taco Bell, one must be a feeble and sickly old woman. This insult has no power over me. I mean, it would if it were somewhere like Carson’s, or Caponie’s, or Famous Dave’s, but Taco Bell? Jesus. Why not just kill and eat rats? You’d at least be sure of what you were putting in your mouth.
Expect more of this as Operation Fifty Pounds soldiers on.
*Word “efforting” appears courtesy of Phil the Showkiller
** Some people apparently put mayonnaise on their burgers. Some people don’t deserve to eat.