Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now that we bloggers have come to represent the new media, we get a lot of the same kinds of PR stuff that used to go to newspapers and magazines--press releases about new products, upcoming events, etc. Occasionally I find something of interest.
More often, I cannot believe someone sent whatever it is my way. Take, for instance, the email I got today. Subject line (cue drumroll):
Could the Recession Be Making Us Fat?
Gee, I thought we were already too fat--in the midst of an obesity crisis, as a matter of fact. The recession's only been around a year at most. So, I don't know, no?
The email goes on with predictable idiocy to quote a nutritionist saying that in "uncertain times," people "crave rich foods." That's merely banal. The truly enraging part comes next:
"Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia are also on the rise. "
Since the prevalence of anorexia and bulimia has been pretty constant for as long as we've been diagnosing them (about 1 percent for anorexia, 2 to 3 percent for bulimia), I'd love to know where this nutritionist is getting this shocking new information. Maybe from the bullshit fairy?
The journalist in me recognizes what we call "fudging" when I hear it, and this is pure fudge--the kind of unsupported generalization people offer up and that too many people believe because, um, it sounds like the fudger knows what he's talking about.
And here's the kicker:
"Both illnesses are tied to stress, depression and the need for control, which is a direct link to the sentiment of many Americans during this recession."
Oh really? Notice the fudging language here? EDs are "tied to" stress and depression. They sure are. So is cancer and heart disease. And then we get the twist of the knife--that old "need for control" crap that's been trotted out routinely ever since Hilde Bruch started writing about anorexia.
The whole thing is actually shopping this unnamed nutritionist as an authority on--wait for it--losing weight.
Yeah, this guy is a real authority, all right.
Note to PR flacks: Do the research before you send out crap like this. You're doing your clients way more harm than good.
Next time I'm naming names.