Are Cable Food Shows Making Extreme Eating Glamorous?
Bruce Springsteen had it right when he sang “fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on.” Satellite dishes and super-sized cable offerings have exploded the number of programming options tenfold since that song charted. But inevitably, you still find yourself channel-surfing like crazy when the DVR is empty and the weather outside sucks.
Cable Television Food Shows
That’s how I discovered a fascinating and somewhat disturbing trend – cable television shows that delight in extreme culinary concoctions. They are doing for overeating what the Internet did for porn – creating constant access and demand, in this case for extra calories, 24/7.
Sure, it can be entertaining to watch a man tackle an 11 pound pizza in one sitting, or arm wrestle with a 72 ounce steak. I was transfixed by the sight of a chef preparing a hamburger the size of my head with four layers of patties, including one made of deep-fried foie gras (talk about overkill). But as a health conscious individual, there is was no way I’d want to seriously dig into that impending heart attack on a plate. What I worry about is the impact it could have on the average television viewer. Someone who might catch the show and be prompted to search out a plate of double-fried candy bars in return.
It kind of reminds me of Jackass, the MTV prank show that spawned a movie franchise. When the first season aired, reports of kids trying the stunts at home skyrocketed. They suffered broken bones, bruised muscles and hurt egos. What happens to adolescents who decide to copy extreme eating stunts? Or even worse, when they start to consider an entire platter of chicken-fried steak as a normal portion?
Rising Obesity Rate
On November 5, it was reported that experts from Harvard and MIT theorized that the U. S. obesity rate may hit 42% by 2050. I thought that number was crazy, until learning that the Centers for Disease Control already categorized about one-third of U.S. adults as obese in 2007-2008. With television shows celebrating over-the-top eating, looks like Americans are well on their way.
[box type="important"]What do you think? Are cable shows focused on extreme food making overeating glamorous, or are they harmless?[/box]