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Using our fear of the “physical cliff” as a newsmaker

Using our fear of the “physical cliff” as a newsmaker

Recently the New York Times ran an op-ed piece that really flummoxed me. In it, Paul Campos, a professor of law at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the author of The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession With Weight Is Hazardous to Your Health, cited a newly published study in The Journal of the American Medical Association which found that “all adults categorized as overweight and most of those categorized as obese have a lower mortality risk than so-called normal-weight individuals.”

Come again? I thought that if there was one thing we could all agree on, it was that toppling over the physical cliff meant certain death. Campos’s article goes on to posit that, as a country, we are needlessly hung up on the numbers game, and that the multibillion-dollar weight loss industry is the one who is really living off the fat of
our land.

Interesting…if a little Oliver Stone-ish. But the fact is, it is a multibillion-dollar industry and we are,
indeed, obsessed.

Back in my magazine days, my editor used to favor diet stories above all others because they were the first pages readers flipped to at the newsstand. Granted, that was the fashion industry, but the sheer numbers of people trying to lose or maintain their weight in this country prove that no matter what industry you are in, diet and exercise can be a newsmaker for your business.

This time of year, starting with New Year’s resolutions and continuing straight through to swimsuit season, it is particularly trending. Traditional media outlets love to do roundups of diet and fitness apps, which can often include interviews with cell phone service providers or even local small businesses who are using them in a “Biggest Loser”-type contest for their employees. The media is also very interested in fitness for all ages, such as the Get Mom Moving campaign, which has been enormously successful for our client,
Home Instead Senior Care.

Even if your business has no obvious direct tie-in to diet or fitness, the topic can still be relevant for your social media content. Posting about either an individual staffer’s or an office-wide diet and fitness effort on Facebook is a great way to engage your employees and your audience with your page (and there are ways to do it tactfully in cases where weight is a sensitive issue).

We frequently create and post photo albums to the pages of our clients who participate in community walks such as The Walk to End Alzheimer’s or breast cancer awareness walks. The entire office can participate in these, regardless of their fitness level or commitment to an exercise program, and it is a great way to show that your employees care about each other and their communities…and get in a little cardio while they’re at it.

As you may know, at Albers we firmly believe in shaping our clients’ stories around the topics that matter most to people at that moment. And right now, getting on the exercise cycle is a great way to get into the news cycle.