The obesity epidemic has very complex and interacting drivers. The intervention, however, is depicted in simple terms: eat less and exercise more. But it's not so simple. The way in which products are marketed and the way society views the concept of "normal" are important but less obvious contributors. Dr. Brent McFerran, holder of the W.J. VanDusen Professorship of Marketing, at Simon Fraser University discusses his studies about consumer psychology and marketing as they relate to the obesity epidemic.
There is an important difference between statistical “normal” and clinical “normal” as they relate to body size. The way in which products are marketed influences consumer choices with respect to food. Acceptance of larger bodies can influence people’s consumption as well as their motivations with respect to health behaviors.
"We find that when larger bodies are coupled with these acceptance cues, we see a decreased motivation to engage in healthy behaviors, a decreased desire to reduce one’s own calorie consumption, and an increased consumption in actual unhealthy food." — Dr. Brent McFerran
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