Aussie fast food PSA is upside-down

By on October 12, 2010

Be careful when ordering your next Big Mac or Sonic Blast because the consequence could have the same repercussions as shooting heroin.

The image of a mother planning to shoot her young son up the arm with heroin is depicted in a new Australian Public Service Announcement. The PSA shows the mother melting heroin and prepping her son’s arm for the injection. The scene cuts moments later showing the two eating hamburgers from a fast food restaurant. The PSA ends with the disclaimer to break the habit of childhood obesity.

The PSA is effective in showcasing the severity of childhood obesity. However, it goes too far with its portrayal. The occasional hamburger and fries from McDonald’s or Burger King isn’t going to kill you. But those heroin injections will likely cause you to go down the road to nowhere.

Now, I’ve never shot heroin (or any drug for that matter), but I do eat fast food from time to time. Someone would have to put a gun to my head before I would give up those extra-thick Frostys at Wendy’s. And even then, I still might give in to the temptation of that tasty treat.

It doesn’t make sense to place all the blame for childhood obesity on fast food corporations. Causes of childhood obesity include overeating, lack of exercise, family history of obesity, medical illnesses, medications, stress, low self-esteem, and depression, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. While poor eating habits is another cause, it isn’t the only one.

Parents should take responsibility for the dining habits of their children. The Australian PSA shows the mother about to shoot her child up with heroin just as she would supply him with fast food. However, it takes more than a few of those meals to become obese. We might as well just lock up all of our parents for buying us fast food as children because they were trying to kill us one fry at a time.

The PSA serves its purpose in exposing the severe negative effects of fast food. However, the scare tactics instilled toward parents is harsh and unfair when considering several other societal factors in childhood obesity.

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About Matt Busekroos

Matt Busekroos
Email: publisher@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @mattybooz
Year: 2012
Major: Print journalism
Hometown: Shrewsbury, Mass.
Dream Job: Writer for an entertainment trade magazine

One Comment

  1. Marcin Mazurek

    October 13, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    But then mild messages about the negative effects of drugs never really send the proper message that people want, do they? I suppose its a play on that childhood psychology of “if you do/don’t do [thing] here then the [mythical personification] will/won’t [do something]

    The draw to heroine is really rather hard to justify, however if you take a look at the caloric value of say…a Big Mac, thats 580 calories, half of which are fat, followed by half your daily fat intake, and 60% of your saturated fat intake for the day, about a third of your cholesterol and sodium. Take into account the large soda and the fries, and you’ve got a hefty meal there.

    now think that some people don’t just “occasionally” eat it, and the only other place to really get any other food is the school lunch room, and that is the healthy food. (especially now that they are taking it into higher consideration)

    We can see where they are coming from, we an see how exaggerated it is, but we can also see the obesity rate not being assisted downward by ignoring one of the factors.