Food Choices: How Marketing Can Sabotage Our Good Intentions
When it comes to managing our weight and our health it can be a real challenge, as we have to make multiple food choices every single day. The problem is that we are bombarded with relentless food marketing, whether it’s adverts on TV, in cafes, at the cinema or in the supermarket. Right now we are experiencing an obesity crisis across the globe. Today we live in a world of intense marketing, as companies try to get us to part with our money- they do this by making food look extremely alluring, whilst offering such foods at cheap or discounted prices, heavily influencing our food choices. Not a day goes by where foods aren’t on special offer. Marketeers want us to believe that we are getting a bargain, and it’s easy to fall for bargains- however, for those of us who battle with our weight or try to eat healthily, we need to try and turn our backs on many of these bargains, otherwise we can end up stocking up our cupboards with foods that we’re trying not to eat, or eat less of. Foods on special offer are often the cause of impulse purchases- if something is expensive we tend to think twice, but it can be easy to grab something mindlessly when it’s a bargain.
Marketeers Don’t Care About Your Waistline
Whilst supermarkets, restaurants and other food outlets do offer a range of healthier options these days, in general those who market food aren’t concerned about your waistline- their job is to sell food and make a profit. We’ve become so oblivious to the intensity of food marketing that confronts us every day because it has become the norm. It’s vital that we don’t allow marketeers to heavily influence our food choices, and so planning ahead in advance what you intend to buy at the supermarket and sticking to your shopping list can really help, as can avoiding certain food aisles where you know you experience the most temptation. That’s not to say we need to completely avoid all of our favourite ‘treat’ foods, but by giving ourselves some boundaries we can help to remain in control of our food choices, rather than allowing supermarkets and food manufacturers to control what and how much we eat. Supermarkets seem to heavily promote unhealthy, processed foods such as crisps, chocolate, biscuits and alcohol much more than fruit and vegetables, though this appears to vary quite a lot from supermarket to supermarket.
Notice How Food Is Pushed
If you feel that you easily succumb to food advertising and marketing, it might be time for you to start thinking about how often you’re confronted with it every day of your life, and how your food choices are influenced as a result; be a bit curious about it, and start noticing how and when food is pushed at you- and remember, marketeers don’t care about your health or your waistline- they just want your money! You also need to be wary of the language that is used to market food- some foods might be labelled as healthy versions and cost a bit more, when in fact they might not be that much different to the regular version. It’s also common to fall for low-fat versions of certain foods such as yogurts and sauces- if the fat is removed from a product, something else needs to be added in to compensate for the loss of flavour, and it’s usually sugar! It’s easy to think we’re making good food choices when in fact we’re not, especially if we don’t read the labels in detail and simply go on the main wording on the front of the packaging.
So keep your eyes open, become more aware of how much food is being pushed onto you every day- if you can become more curious about food marketing and how it’s done, you can start to take back some of the power. If you want to take care of your family’s diet as well as your own, then aim to be a bit more vigilant about what is going on around you- don’t keep falling for what is ultimately very clever, persistent tactics that can sabotage our food choices. Food marketing, whether we like it or not, is here to stay.
If you’d like to discuss with me how I could help you, give me a call (Emma Randall) on 07961 423120, or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am based in Lightwater, Surrey.