He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother… Oh Wait, He Is Heavy, And It’s My Fault.

exerciseAccording to Food Product News, “a new report shows the risk associated with having an obese sibling is more than twice as great as that of having an obese parent, and that risk is even stronger among siblings of the same gender.”

I read this story with tremendous interest, because the issue of childhood obesity is truly important to me. I think it is criminal to enable a child to become obese or equally bad, to not empower a child to become more active and healthy.

But honestly, this study makes absolutely no sense to me. And the story does not clear it up. I think it is saying that obese kids are likely to have an obese parent and even more likely to have obese siblings. In the words of Homer Simpson, “Duh!”

On behalf of all concerned citizens of planet Earth, I would like to chastise everyone involved with this study and this story.  How does any of this information help those in need – the obese children – to get off the wrong track and onto the right track? I don’t need studies and indicators for obesity; I have eyeballs for that.

Can we please, for the love of God, just focus on doing a better job of enabling parents and children to get more exercise and eat healthier meals.  We could start by offering health memberships as part of the Obamacare plan and maybe outlawing fast food as part of some common sense initiative. The wonders you’ll get if you just learned the different basic exercises. You’ll be surprised what muscles do lunges work, or how push-ups is so great for core. Or we could re-institute mandatory physical education classes in public and private schools (although I am concerned about the types of predators attracted to the gym teacher jobs).

Or maybe we just need some sort of “Get Up Off Your Ass America” campaign that encourages healthier lifestyles without the added requirement of purchasing a $300 fitness wardrobe. Something. Anything.

Just don’t conduct another study, and don’t blame my siblings if I get obese; blame a marketing industry that continues to turn a blind eye to the truth about Bacon and Cheese Quarter Pounders, the Baconator and the Triple Whopper.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.