Enough with the belly fat ads

What’s up with these belly fat ads?

It seems that every other website is plastered with ads about cutting down on “belly fat”. Animated sketches of women in underwear or bathing suits with shrinking abdomens promise quick weight loss “by using this 1 weird old tip.” And by “weird old tip,” this particular ad means don’t eat processed food.

I pulled this screen grab from a blog post whose message is similar: Be aware of what you’re putting in your body. Drinks, even seemingly harmless drinks like this antioxidant water, can contain as much sugar as two servings of dessert.

We’re so disconnected with food, real food, that it’s not obvious to people that a Dairy Queen Caramel MooLatte has as much sugar as 12 Bavarian Kreme donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts.

Lose weight quick gimmicks are hardly new, but the growing number of online ads targeted toward women who want to lose weight indicates that enough people are clicking on the ads to make them — and the information or products the companies that pay for them are selling — profitable. But if I may quote a Saturday Night Live skit, “Really? I mean really.”

I tried to suffer through the video on the site that these ads direct you to, but after close to 20 minutes of basic, basic information about carbohydrates, sugar, fruits and vegetables, I realized I had better things to do (like write this post) instead of finding out how they wanted to get my money. (A manual or book with more information, I presume.)

So instead of selling us on restaurants, food that we might enjoy eating or cooking, kitchen products, cookbooks or even, if we’re going the weight lose route, exercise equipment, the primary food-related ads online, including food blogs, are about how not to be fat.

But someone’s clicking on these ads or else they wouldn’t be there.

The selling power of body image works both ways.

7 responses to “Enough with the belly fat ads

  1. I totally agree with what your saying and the most frustrating part is when I have written a blog about something absolutely delicious and right next to my recipe and a picture is one of the above ads about belly fat. It’s frustrating to say the least. Thanks for sharing your views on this.

  2. Whenever I see those ads all I can think is “that woman looks like she just had a baby” and I remember how I felt about my body right after I had a baby when in fact my body was very normal for that stage. To me, the “belly fat” focus is specifically targeting mothers who have been fed this image that a mother’s body should look the same before and after a baby when in most cases that just isn’t true.

    • So. Funny. People who haven’t had kids have asked me, “What happens to the belly after the baby is born?” and it’s kind of hard to explain all that skin. Now I’m just going to tell them: “You know, like those belly fat ads online.”

  3. Those ads are terrible. Women tend to not have as much as a problem with belly fat than men do. Fat placement is hormonally driven, and it is men who are more at risk of belly fat related health problems than women (who have correct hormone profiles).

  4. From what i’ve heard those ads are spam. A lot of bloggers I know have been trying to remove those ads from their websites, but they just keep popping up. When you monetize your blog you tend to have limited control over what ads show up.

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