I love to watch TV. I am not a snob about it and am happy to admit that I do it. From news in the morning to the Good Wife at night, there are lots of different types of shows I love to watch. With the exception of the Super Bowl ads, I would rather skip the commercials, especially food commercials and ones for local car dealerships. Mostly I want to skip them because they are eating up my allotted TV watching time and I want see the story. But I definitely want to skip the food ads, restaurants as well as individual foods, because they start my brain thinking I want to eat something, even if I was not hungry before.
The DVR, or Digital Video Recorder, is almost the best diet tool I own. The ability to record my favorite shows and then fast-forward through all the ads keeps the cheesy gooey pizza ads from planting the desire in my head.
On one memorable occasion an ad had an adverse effect on me. As a teenager I was home sick with the flu. Hold-up on the playroom sofa watching TV an advertisement for Ragu came on the screen. I will never forget how seeing those images of sauce-laden spaghetti made my stomach feel and before I knew it I was running to the bathroom barley making it before the projectile show began. It was months before I could even look at spaghetti again, all just from watching the pictures on the tube.
Unfortunately I got over that Pavlovian experience and now have no ill feelings when I see that yummy red sauce. Rarely are commercials for plain steamed broccoli or one perfectly ripe peach. Individual fruits and vegetables don’t have agencies or campaigns. But burgers and fries or gooey chocolate chip cookies can be seen hourly enticing weak willed beings to crave them.
DVR is our only defense. Don’t let those brilliant marketers get into your head because your head controls your stomach. The power of suggestion is great. The best way to fight eating the wrong thing at the wrong time is not to have any reminders it exists. You could just read a book, but eventually you will want to know whom the Bachelor gave the final rose to.