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French Warnings on Junk-Food Ads: Cool or Not?

French women have long been admired for their ability to eat the rich, high-calorie foods of their cuisine without becoming overweight. They have inspired diet tips and books. This moderate food culture might have more to do with the government than we thought because the French Parliament seems to be legislating the two extremes of current weight issues. Recently, they outlawed images of extreme thinness and they are considering taxing fattening foods like french fries pommes frites and hamburgers.


A friend of mine recently visited France and saw health warnings scrolling on the bottom of television ads for junk food, and took a photo of her hotel TV, knowing I'd want to see. The text translates roughly to: "For your health, eat at least five fruits and veggies a day." These warnings are not just limited to TV ads; they can be heard on the radio and seen in print ads as well. The warning reminds me a bit of the warning labels on cigarettes. While I appreciate those labels, I am not quite sure they keep people from lighting up, but hopefully they get smokers thinking.

So what do you think about these warning messages. Do you think they could help solve the obesity problem? Should we imitate our Gallic friends? Are these warnings . . .

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