Food Is Not the Enemy

Recently I saw this commercial at the home of the relatives we’re staying with while we look for a place of our own. (Photo credit – Miss Karen.)

The premise: a woman stands in front of a fridge, stares at a raspberry cheesecake and desperately tries to justify why she should be allowed to have a slice of it.

(This in and of itself was really weird. Unless you have medical restrictions on your diet or are wanting to sample a portion of someone else’s food, why would the concept of being allowed to do something ever be attached to what an adult chooses for his or her afternoon snack? )

Her friend walks up, mentions that she has been craving raspberry cheesecake and grabs a container of raspberry cheesecake flavoured yogurt. It ends with a voice-over announcing that this line of yogurts only have about a hundred calories per serving.

The commercial has been pulled off the air but I’m wondering how it was ever approved in the first place. No, it wouldn’t be advisable to eat a large piece of cheesecake every single day but food is not the enemy. It isn’t intrinsically good or bad, a reward or punishment, it’s fuel for growth, healing and everyday activities. If we don’t eat enough of it we will eventually die.

When others share unsolicited opinions on what I do (or do not) eat it doesn’t make me want to change my habits. If anything it makes me want to hide what I am eating, whether a salad or a handful of cookies. Shame and guilt aren’t good methods for changing behaviours.


Had you heard of this commercial before reading this post? Why do you think some people have such fractured relationships with what they think they ought to eat versus what they actually eat?

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0 Responses to Food Is Not the Enemy

  1. teresa

    I hadn’t seen this actualy commercial but they have several simliar ones about their yogurt. GIVE ME A BREAK…yogurt will never satisfy a craving for cheesecake…are people this easily fooled? This is why I hate commercials and threaten to quit watching tv. At least they pulled the ad!

    Your title is PERRRRRfect…food is not the enemy. In all the talk about weight loss/obesity WHY? is it that we never EVER hear anything about moderation but only about what we can not eat? Because that is the way to keep the cycle of weight gain and weight loss going! The minute you begin telling someone they can’t eat this and they can’t eat that it fuels obsession and can trigger eating disorders.

    I have far too many comments on this issue to ever fit into this little comment box. I’ve done every diet on the planet and it hasn’t done anything to benefit my health. It works so much better for me to eat all things in moderation than to put an ‘off limits’ on foods that may be appealing. Before long, I find that that is all I can thiknk of, and I know I’m not abnormal.

    We were just having this conversation this weekend. I think the media is the most damaging thing to a person who is looking for answers to weight loss. One of the most refreshing approach in the media is what Michelle Obama is doing getting people to eat more plant based foods and stirring interest in gardening.
    As for desserts…if you have a sweet tooth you can indulge without going overboard. Like you said, a piece of cheesecake every day would be unwise but to have a piece once in a while-which would probably satisfy your craving-isn’t as harmful as banning it from your life and then being bombarded “I have to have it!”.

    You should get the book I’m reading..I like it a lot. I think I mentioned it already – Nourishing Traditions-the cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictorcrats. Good info…

    • Yes, you’ve mentioned that book before. As soon as I renew my library card I’ll request it. It sounds great!

      I’m wary of food substitutions in general – e.g. calorie-free sweeteners or anything concocted in a laboratory. They can be useful for people with certain medical conditions, of course, but in general I think we’re all better off eating real foods in moderation. Our bodies evolved (or were designed, if you prefer 🙂 ) to know how to handle this stuff in most cases.

  2. People have food addictions and I believe the media does fuel it.  This commercial isn’t the only one, obviously.  I’d seen it several times before they pulled it.  To be honest I don’t know why they pulled that commercial and not a host of others. Any of these food brands or products that give the impression that “if you only eat this you’ll be thin and beautiful” should be pulled.  Food isn’t the enemy. 

    I’ve had a love/hate relationship with food over my lifetime.  I was a chubby kid, a slightly overweight teenager and have been on yo yo diets galore.  They steal your metabolism and make the situation worse.  The only way to loose weight and keep it off is to expend more calories than you take in – no matter what you eat.  Food education is the key and everything in moderation, including exercise, is vital.  I finally did learn that telling myself I “couldn’t” have this or that was, as teresa said, fueling an obsession with that kind of food.  I no longer tell myself I can’t enjoy fettucini alfredo or chocolate cake; i just can’t have that every single day.  I get off my butt and jog at a moderate pace 3 days per week.  I finally lost about 40 lbs about four years ago and have successfully, for the first time in my life, kept it off. Stupid yogurt doesn’t make you loose weight.  Never has, never will.  Now if they advertised themselves as part of a healthy diet which along with exercise would help a person to lose or maintain their weight, then yes, by all means.  But eating magical yogurt doesn’t make you loose weight.

  3. Twyseschoch

    “When others share unsolicited opinions on what I do (or do not) eat…”

    it makes me want to eat more right in front of them while laughing!  😀

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