A new report suggests that half of all U.S. adults could be obese in about 20 years -- a dramatic increase from the one-third of U.S. adults who are currently obese.
This comes after decades of messaging in TV content and marketing efforts: We need to eat better; we need to exercise more. Who doesn't hear this ringing in his or her ears, like all of the time?
We know bad habits start young. Marketers of kids' food have been changing their messages -- but that's not enough. Then we get barraged with commercials that we need to be thinner. But we can't do anything about it. After that we have another problem on our hands -- depression.
What does it mean? Health care costs will only go in one direction -- for everyone. (Consequently, we'll probably get even more health-related commercials).
Some say still-cheap prices for fast food is one major reason. Public schools are getting better about nutrition. But increasingly those public schools aren't as good as they could be when it comes to physical education and exercise -- at least in convincing some to make it a habitual thing. People talk about kids getting one hour of exercise a day. But rarely are such goals met.
And that's not all. How many infomercials are still around talking about fitness? Now you have intensive, no-frills, little-equipment, cross-training DVDs, Zumba, and even newer abdominal equipment. This has been going on now for 30 years.
If TV advertising influences, it hasn't found the right way of completing the cycle. In marketing terms, it comes down to only getting consumers' "awareness" instead of the real goal: "intent to buy." Genetics aside, U.S. consumers still aren't buying in -- or aren't getting the right direction, time or incentive from health-minded TV marketers and producers.