Life in Balance

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Advertisements could prevent us from living “Life in Balance”

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EDOYR honours “Life in Balance.” We believe it. We live it. We love it. But, we also live in a world where the term “balance” is often ignored.
The other morning I was watching Food Network Canada’s Chef at Home starring Michael Smith, one of Canada’s best-known chefs, before leaving for the office. The volume was on low, but I could still see what Smith was making. Right after Smith put what appeared to be a loaf of honey oat bread into the oven, this commercial came on.
This Atkins Diet commercial introduces Cheryl Lynn Wolf, the 2012 Success Story Superstar Winner, and then describes all the foods dieters can eat to find a perfect balance between carbohydrates. In other words, the commercial tells its audience that if they go the Atkins way, they can be just like Cheryl.
The selling point: You can get your free Atkins Quick-Start Kit by following the directions provided in the advertisement. What that really means: If you apply for a free start kit, you could be just like Cheryl.
As soon as I watched this commercial, an extremely loud “this answer is not correct” noise seemed to go off in my head. You know the one:
Companies, not just Atkins, sell us what they say are quick fixes for our problems and insecurities.
In this example, we are promised that if we are unhappy with our weight, all we have to do is go on the Atkins Diet to find happiness, like Cheryl did. The problem with that, though, is eternal, lifelong happiness cannot be achieved through the purchase of products, whether these products are weight-loss plans, a new book, teeth-whitening toothpaste or a new pair of shoes.
Not to mention, we honestly have no idea if Cheryl is truly happy. How is her spiritual well being? How is she mentally? Does she love herself for who she is (regardless of the fact that she lost weight)? We don’t know the answer to those, but we’re tricked into thinking that Cheryl must be happy in all those areas because before and after photos show her smiling from ear to ear after using the product being sold to us in the very commercial we are watching.
After Atkins spokesperson Courtney Thorne-Smith stopped selling a diet (like the other several that exist but do not work…I mean, the diet industry has a 98 per cent failure rate!), this commercial came on.

Anna Olson, chef and host of Sugar and Fresh on Food Network Canada, shows us that cooking can be as easy as 1-2-3, especially with the new Philly Cooking Creme, which can be used for dressings and sauces of all sorts.
My first sarcastic thought after watching this advertisement: The Atkins Diet would not approve.
Do you see how we are thrown from one extreme to the next? We could be watching television for our own personal pleasure and then be told that to experience even more pleasure, we would need to buy into a diet program to help us lose weight. Then moments later, we could be told to indulge because it’s easy, fun and, well, taboo.
Where’s the balance in that?

— Leviana Coccia

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