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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Why Are Processed Foods and Alcohol Glorified While Cigarettes Are Attacked As a Shameful Poison?

Marco Torres
Prevent Disease

s there a difference? Perhaps one of my readers can help me differentiate between one poison and the other. Whether you inhale it, drink it or eat it, a poison is a poison. I don't defend smoking, but there is a shameful double standard that exists at the expense of smokers and they know it. Why do government officials allow graphic images of disease on cigarette packages without extending the same courtesy to the labels on cosmetics, alcohol and junk food, some of which cause more disease and deaths annually than tobacco.

Marketing is acknowledged to be an important contributor to disease. It exists in numerous forms, the most recognized being television advertising. While there are efforts within policy to curb the incidence of marketing tactics which promote disease-promoting substances, those efforts appear to be quite biased. 

It is very convenient that governments take such drastic measures to inform the public about the health risks associated with smoking and glance over more serious problems which are masked as casual threats to our health.

Things are changing internationally, but more effort is needed to make changes in the developed nations that need it most.

The head of Russia's temperance society wants government ministers to begin a campaign against fast food and sugary soft drinks. Sultan Khamzayev of the Sober Russia group wants ads condemning fast food to be on federal TV channels, on the internet, and on billboards in major Russian cities. Late last year, MP Alena Arshinova (United Russia) suggested amending the Federal Law on Advertising to ban junk food ads during children's shows aired on national TV or radio.

A Tasmanian parent in Australia has taken aim at sports sponsorship deals that endorse fast food and alcohol companies. Aaron Schultz continues to ramp up his efforts to get fast food and alcohol advertising out of mainstream sport. "They've really backed their sponsors in Victoria Bitter and Kentucky Fried Chicken and really it's sending the wrong messages to kids," he stated.

So what kind of initiatives do we have by governments in the U.S, Canada, and the U.K to bring awareness to the dangers of processed foods and alcohol? Not many. However lethal they are, it's not a focus because of the amount of revenue they generate.  

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