Burgers and Heroin: A Fair Comparison?

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Would you feed your child a burger?

If you answered yes, then here's the next question: Would you give your child heroin?

According to an Australian advertisement, it's one in the same.

Just when I thought I'd seen it all ... Is it just me, or are dangerous, addictive drugs in a whole different spectrum than unhealthy food?

In the Precinct Studios community service announcement "Breaking the Habit," a mother walks into a room with a brown paper bag, and sits down at the table next to her son. As the son colors away (he has a great technique, grasping the crayon and definitely not staying in the lines!), she removes several items from the bag -- including a cotton ball, a syringe, a spoon, and an old gum wrapper filled with "heroin."

My blood begins to really boil as I watch the woman proceed to heat up what is supposed to be the heroin substance on the metal spoon with a lighter, glancing at her son, and then sucking up the liquid into the syringe.

Just when you think the worst has come and gone, the mother ties a black piece of cloth on her son's upper arm, preparing him for the injection, and tucks a white napkin into his shirt neck.

Then, the son picks up a hamburger and takes a huge bite.

The ad ends with the question:

"You wouldn't inject your children with junk. So why are you feeding it to them?"

Is this real?!

While I understand the Australian spot is trying to make a point, there's a HUGE difference between giving your child an addictive narcotic and feeding them a hamburger.

Is the mother to blame for feeding her kid a burger? Sure. But regular-sized hamburger from McDonald's is only 250 calories and 9 grams of fat. Not a "lethal" amount for a meal, if you ask me. And certainly not as dangerous as an injection of heroin.

Maybe we should point the blame for rising obesity rates somewhere else. After all, isn't it the fast food companies that are constantly enlarging portion sizes and adding calories? (Take the snack size revolution, for example. Every chain from McDonald's to Dairy Queen is making snack size versoins of their classic favorites, the Angus Snack Wrap and the mini Blizzard. The problem: these "snack" alternatives often have just as many calories, if not more, than the originals.) Why let the fast food companies off the hook scott-free?

Tying up the child's arm and insinuating that he's about to be injected with heroin by his mom is taking the message just a tad too far for my taste.

Take a look at the ad here:

Do you think this advertising company gone too far?


eating out, food, healthy choices