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The Blog of Photographer Steven Gray

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The M&M's website is not safe for kids!

I told them I was eleven.

While researching material for the fitness ebook I am currently writing for Kindle, I pulled up the M&M's company website a minute ago to check some nutrition information.  To my surprise, it has an age lock!

On a hunch, I screencapped the page.  Then I put in my date of birth, but changed the year.  According to the Mars Corporation, I was an eleven year-old boy.  As such, I was too young to be a participant in their "responsible marketing" of sugar-coated sugar to American youth via "toys and games."

Between HBO's Weight of the Nation ringing its bell and Mayor Bloomberg capitalizing on the publicity with the NYC ban on large sodas, the entire snack food industry is on edge right now.

Heck, even Alec Baldwin is weighing in on the fun,

I didn't intend to post a second entry today, but I just found this little tidbit way too entertaining not to share.  I don't generally follow the news, but I am writing about health and fitness a lot these days and the fact that it took a well-publicized documentary to kickstart this sudden hysteria interests me greatly.

I had a film teacher in college who talked about working for the California Department of Transportation in the 1960s (yeah, he was old).  His job was to assist in filming informational shorts about automobile safety.

Every film included elaborately staged crash tests in which dummies were mercilessly hurled through windshields and slammed into steering wheels.  The air was thick with statistics and numbers, chosen specifically for their capacity to frighten viewers into wearing seat belts and stopping completely at every intersection.

"But," Dr. Karimi said, with an air of disbelief which had not waned in fifty years, "no matter how much damn information we threw at them, the statistics never changed!  People still got into accidents and acted stupid all over the highway."  He took a deep breath and looked up at the class again.  "I learned...one thing...from that experience.  You can't sell safety.  You can tell people how bad something is and show them exactly what will happen, but people will still do whatever they want to do."

You can't sell safety.  And you can't sell health.  Government initiatives can throw as much money as they want at the issues of obesity and public health consciousness, but people will continue to eat whatever makes them feel good.  And, to stir the pot even more, America is built on the ideals of free enterprise.  What happens to other laws when a mayor can ban something as insignificant as a soda cup?  I don't want to veer into a slippery slope fallacy, but laws do set legal precedents...

If people want it, companies will make it.  If companies make it before the people think of it, people want it all the more.  It's an interesting cycle that is very telling about our culture.

On that note, there are some excellent blog entries which I would like to recommend.  I don't know if the moon is full or not, but today was a great day for paleo bloggers.

I wrote a few lines ago that people will eat what they want to eat.  J. Stanton's latest post on Gnolls.org, beautifully titled Why Are We Here, And What Are We Looking For? Food Associations And The Pitfalls Of The Search For Novelty helps illuminate exactly why we become so attached to certain foods, good for us or not.

Concluding our contemplation of the government's attempting a nationwide stomach-stapling through "reform," Richard NIkoley (whose book I recently reviewed) just blogged about how the government is not great hope for our nation's health--healthy people are.  He also included a superb video.  Check it out at Free the Animal: Paleos & Primals: YOU are the Key, not Disney or Michelle Obama

Be healthy.  Be blessed.