SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

By Rob Holston


February 21, 2007
Wednesday AM

Ketchikan, Alaska - For the first time in many years I became a viewer of the Super Bowl. I had a low interest in the actual game but I picked Chicago as "my" team because they were "underdogs." As the game progressed beyond the very first play, they proved themselves to be just that, "underdogs." But much of the hoopla concerning the Super Bowl concerned the advertisements that would be aired. At the high cost of air-time, one gets an idea about which products and services have a high profit potential, worthy of shelling out millions for a couple of 30 second spots.

It was during several of these commercials that a new underdog emerged. This underdog is the American consumer. The advertisers that thrust the American consumer into the roll of underdog, i.e. "almost guaranteed looser" are Coke, Doritos brand of the Frito Lay family of munchies, Bud(un)wiser, Sierra Mist and Snickers. I will now boycott these products for an entire year. I pledge to make water my beverage of choice and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. It is my choice. Care to join me?

These American icons of the junk food industry help contribute to the untimely deaths of millions of people and ad to the poor health of millions more. Free enterprise being what it is, and God knows I'm in favor of free enterprise, these companies have established themselves in the marketplace with products that have little or no nutritional values and yet captivate the minds and taste buds of generation after generation. The value (nutritional and otherwise) that these companies put into their products is so low and the selling price so high, that their profitability guarantees their products will be a rampaging blight on the landscape of American's health for years and years to come.

I was especially concerned about the advertising efforts to attract "Black America" into more consumption of "junk". I found this ethnic targeting in advertising appalling and the result may very well turn Blacks into the super underdogs of the Super Bowl advertising frenzy. African Americans in America, already suffer from a disproportionate amount of obesity, diabetes and coronary heart disease, compared to other ethnic groups living here. And now that it's cool to drink Coke, Black Americans will look forward to further expanding waistlines, uncontrollable blood sugars and quadruple bypass surgeries.

With Super Bowl XLI now in the history books, the discussions surrounding it will focus on the coaching, quarterbacks, kick-off-return and of coarse the rain. The advertisements will be discussed as well and corporate America has nearly a full year to devise the next offensive in their assault on American's food and drink budget. The highly predictable "underdog" during this next year is the American consumer. The American consumers will be defeated by their own over-indulgence in corporate America's junk food offerings. While the "underdog" Chicago Bears lost Super Bowl XLI, it won't take long before they lick their wounds and work hard in the off-season to get right back in contention. They may suffer from an isolated incident of DWI or controlled substance abuse but a vast majority of them will stay in great physical shape. Not so the American public. These "underdogs" will continue to suffer tremendous losses. Thousands will die from diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer and alcoholism. Thousands more will become disabled by obesity. Families will be torn apart by premature death brought on by consumption of "junk food".

Those who survive will look forward to the Super Bowl XLII game and certainly the advertisements. What you eat and drink is your choice. What I eat and drink is my choice. I choose not to become a "junk food underdog." Care to join me?


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Rob is a retired teacher and a resident of Ketchikan, Alaska. He is not a health care professional; however, he has an interest in health and fitness. You should contact your doctor regarding all health care issues and follow your doctor's advice.
Contact Rob at holston[at]

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