Canada is fat.
Maybe not Biggest Loser fat…but we have definitely reached the we can’t stand to look at our flabby bodies in the bathroom mirror level of of fatness.
Luckily for us, the residents of Taylor B.C. have stepped up and volunteered to serve as our collective weight loss role model.
As the stars of the new CBC reality show, Village on a Diet, 150 Taylorites are going to exercise and eat their way from fat to fit over the next 10 weeks.
Airing on Monday nights, Village on a Diet is just one part of CBC’s social initiative – Live Right Now.
Inspired by Canada’s growing obesity epidemic, Live Right Now is the CBC’s attempt at creating a national healthy living movement.
In addition to the “reality” show Village on a Diet, the Mother Corp has plans to leverage the celebrity credibility of numerous CBC personalities (Peter Mansbridge, George Stroumboulopoulos, et al) along with a full-on social media blitz (tv, website, blog, print, online challenges, facebook, twitter, corporate, medical & NGO partnerships, etc), to overwhelm our lazy lifestyles and re-create our national physique.
No more will we look like this guy.
After 12 weeks of Livin’ Right Now, the average Canadian will look more like this guy.
Perhaps minus the spandex jumpsuit.
But all kidding aside, while it is pretty easy to make fun of this grand social experiment, there may be something to it.
On numerous occasions, I have written about how obesity is much more emotional than logical. We all know that we should exercise and eat healthy food. And yet….we don’t.
And that is precisely why I believe that any successful weight loss program requires positive emotions to combat the negative emotions that caused the obesity in the first place.
And since we live in a society addicted to celebrity, we should be using celebrities to create those positive emotions towards living a healthy lifestyle.
And that is exactly what the CBC is doing…using established Canadian (CBC) celebrities in tandem with the creation of “reality” celebrities that we can more easily relate to.
Unfortunately, whether this initiative is successful or not may rely more on the delivery of the message than the message itself.
A 10 week program relying on the celebrity power of a handful of CBC personalities may not be enough.
Because as much as all Canadians love Peter Mansbridge, I am not sure that a 2 minute segment on the news about his recipe for vegetarian chili is going to change the obesity inducing emotions of a nation.
We need to use the type of big name celebrity power that drives trends around the world – movie stars, musicians, athletes, etc…
And not just for 10 weeks….more like 10 years.
And it’s got to be more than just a message.
We need to make living a healthy lifestyle easier by:
- making our communities safer and walkable
- removing government subsidies on processed food
- shifting that money towards real food
- using public facilities to encourage exercise
But maybe all of this can begin with a reality show about the residents of a small town in British Columbia trying to lose weight.