Ordinarily if you are watching any TV programme you are spending [wasting] an equal amount of time watching commercials. These try and sell products which we may or may not need in day to day use. I sat through a three hour programme and counted commercials which advertised absolutely necessary products. Don’t be surprised, they formed only ten percent. Most were unnecessary and some positively harmful.
Let me list the harmful ones. The pride of place goes to food products. These range from soft drinks to chips and chocolates. All contain refined sugar and fat or sugar alone with additives. Packed with easily absorbable calories they are tailor made to get you to become obese and if going by available evidence predispose you to cancer and cardiovascular disease. [The China Study: Colin and Thomas Campbell] Packaged foods, ready to eat mixes, frozen preserved meats are no good for health when compared to the naturally available fresh food. These are rarely advertised. Have seen a cabbage or cauliflower or tomatoes being advertised except when on display in a supermarket? There the ad is for the chain of supermarket and not for the product.
Next in the list are the body lotions and sprays. Human skin produces sweat and this secretion has antibacterial properties. The smell is odor is unpleasant is a phenomenon that is culturally motivated. Of course you don’t want it to crust and irritate the skin, so periodically one has to have a wash. But removing the sweat and worse spraying the skin with deodorants and scented chemicals [with a flock of woman rushing after the sprayed man] is positively harmful. This may cause skin allergies and invite other organisms like staphylococcus to colonize and cause furuncles and abscesses especially under arm. There was a time when one shot of penicillin would make these disappear but now this common garden variety of germ has become a killer.
Whitening the skin creams take the pride of place in commercials. This is specially targeted at women. Why is it considered that a woman with pale skin is good looking beats me. Again it is culturally driven and the ads only help to keep this myth grow. It is nauseating to see this advertisement. So is hair growth and conditioning tonics. Mostly useless. But look at the number of men and women buying these products. As one senior marketing executive once told me that he can sell even a packet of saw dust with the right idea and image. This is true for most of these products. Saw dust is innocuous but I cannot say the same with these products listed above.
There is an obnoxious advertisement for skin itch in the groin area. This is usually due to a fungus common in the groin area. Though difficult to eradicate it is easy to treat with antifungals. But to advertise like this is positively in bad taste.
We are blessed with abundant health giving sun light and dark skin to counter the effects of excessive sun exposure. We are not satisfied with this nature’s protection. We are forced to use sun protection creams. Except when one has sun sensitivity or when there is danger of sun burn, one should not use sun screens routinely as it will stop production of much needed vitamin D. As it is we are seeing vitamin D deficiency syndromes in many office going men and women especially those who live in apartments.
When you have a perfectly working vehicle why do you need a new one? You need it because the TV ad tells you that your neighbor has one and your wife is goading you to buy one.
This list can go on and on.
My take home message to you is, if you have a gadget which deletes all the advertisements from the programme you are watching, please use it. Even better don’t watch TV at all. It will do your mind, body and pocket, a lot of good.