Aussie fast food PSA is upside-down

Matt Busekroos

Be careful when ordering your next Big Mac or Sonic Blast because the consequence could have the same repercussions as shooting heroin.

The image of a mother planning to shoot her young son up the arm with heroin is depicted in a new Australian Public Service Announcement. The PSA shows the mother melting heroin and prepping her son’s arm for the injection. The scene cuts moments later showing the two eating hamburgers from a fast food restaurant. The PSA ends with the disclaimer to break the habit of childhood obesity.

The PSA is effective in showcasing the severity of childhood obesity. However, it goes too far with its portrayal. The occasional hamburger and fries from McDonald’s or Burger King isn’t going to kill you. But those heroin injections will likely cause you to go down the road to nowhere.

Now, I’ve never shot heroin (or any drug for that matter), but I do eat fast food from time to time. Someone would have to put a gun to my head before I would give up those extra-thick Frostys at Wendy’s. And even then, I still might give in to the temptation of that tasty treat.

It doesn’t make sense to place all the blame for childhood obesity on fast food corporations. Causes of childhood obesity include overeating, lack of exercise, family history of obesity, medical illnesses, medications, stress, low self-esteem, and depression, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. While poor eating habits is another cause, it isn’t the only one.

Parents should take responsibility for the dining habits of their children. The Australian PSA shows the mother about to shoot her child up with heroin just as she would supply him with fast food. However, it takes more than a few of those meals to become obese. We might as well just lock up all of our parents for buying us fast food as children because they were trying to kill us one fry at a time.

The PSA serves its purpose in exposing the severe negative effects of fast food. However, the scare tactics instilled toward parents is harsh and unfair when considering several other societal factors in childhood obesity.