Strange Ads Promote The Latest Diet Craze: Breastfeeding


Look, this lady lost forty pounds! How, you ask? Uh, maybe giving birth had something to do with it?

The clip is actually a pro-breastfeeding PSA sponsored by the New York State Department of Health, but you’d never know it from the opener, which Lisa Belkin of the Times points out looks more “like an ad for a weight-loss product.” Belkin says, “This is either shameless pandering to women’s vanity or brilliant use of a P.S.A. budget or both” — but it’s also an insult to the intelligence of the low-income women it’s meant to target. While other ads apparently cite health benefits, this one sends the message that what new moms really care about is their jeans size. As PBS’s Lauren Feeney says, “our society is not set up to support breastfeeding, and until that changes, no brilliant advertising or educational campaign is going to solve the problem.” Memo to the New York Health Dept.: how about subsidizing longer maternity leave and better workplace accommodations, rather than talking down to women?

Breast Feeding And Weight Loss [NYT Motherlode Blog]
Want To Lose Weight Fast? Try Breastfeeding!AD [PBS]

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