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Critically Speaking

Aug 26, 2020

The obesity epidemic has very complex and interacting drivers. But thinking about obesity at the pandemic is even more important.   Obesity is a major preexisting risk for COvID19.  With people cooped up inside, eating in their homes, it’s critical that consumers be extra aware of the products they buy and managing their weight.   The way in which products are marketed and the way society views the concept of "normal" are important but less obvious contributors to the obesity epidemic.  Dr. Brent McFerran, holder of the W.J. VanDusen Professorship of Marketing, at Simon Fraser University discusses his studies about consumer psychology and marketing as they relate to the obesity epidemic. 


 Key Takeaways:

  • Obesity adds extra risks for the outcomes for COVID19 victims.  
  • There is an important difference between statistical “normal” and clinical “normal” as they relate to body size.
  • The way in which products are marketed influences consumer choices with respect to food.
  • Acceptance of larger bodies can influence people’s consumption as well as their motivations with respect to health behaviors.


"We find that when larger bodies are coupled with these acceptance cues, we see a decreased motivation to engage in healthy behaviors, a decreased desire to reduce one’s own calorie consumption, and an increased consumption in actual unhealthy food." —  Dr. Brent McFerran


Connect with Dr. Brent McFerran: 

Profile: Brent McFerran  


Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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