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.