Healthy Promotions

This morning on my way to work I came across an NPR story about the controversy over an anti-obesity advertising campaign in Georgia. The ads are said to mimic the anti-smoking and anti-methamphetamine campaigns intended to shock the audience.

According to the report, Georgia has the second highest children’s obesity rate in America, behind Mississippi. The campaign includes images of obese children and statements about diseases that until recently were mostly diagnosed in adults, such as Hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes.

Wow!

The controversy, the article reports, is about whether the ads can hurt the very market they are targeting. When I read that, I nodded to myself, “Understandable concern.”

What seemed to be a more powerful question in my mind was, “Who is responsible for addressing this concern?”

Childhood obesity is, not surprisingly, a hot topic among produce growers. Many of which have embarked on, or tied into, ongoing campaigns to promote healthy eating—a more positive message than the Georgia campaign is pushing, in my opinion.

But is it their responsibility? What the retailers?

One produce grower I spoke with recently commented that some retailers are hesitant to associate themselves with anti-obesity campaigns because they fear it could “discourage sales.”

Retailers have a business to run so if this is the case, it is, again, an understandable concern.

Healthy eating, however, isn’t just a solution to obesity. Healthy eating is a goal of all (most) consumers alike.

Kids. Adults. Seniors. Those who are overweight. Those who are underweight. It applies to all shoppers, across the board.

Picking the right campaign and message can influence your business. But there are so many positive ones out there; there is no reason healthy eating shouldn’t be a clear message at retail—especially in the produce department.

Healthy choices means healthy consumers and if you are a part of that, they will definitely be back for more.

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