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Seven Ways TV and Movies Could Help Support Health and Wellness

You want to look good and perform your own stunts (so to speak)? Let’s make health a part of our culture.

Imagine a world where credible nutrition and delicious food that actually supports health was part of our culture. Science based food and nutrition information is only helpful if it is actionable, relevant, and in today’s digital world, sexy and attention grabbing.  You want to look good and perform your own stunts (so to speak)? Check this out.

Here are seven ideas for Hollywood to help revolutionize health and wellness from a food perspective:

  1. Show every day and party foods in context (portions, balance, avoidance of wasting food). That dinner scene? How about a fruit or veggie on the table/plates and milk or water to drink instead of whatever that unnaturally colored liquid is as a prop.
  2. Make nutrient rich foods sexy. Hello, veggie platter in black tie party scenes. Let’s be honest – we all love when somebody cuts up our fruits and veggies for us and arranges them on a plate. How pretty. How delicious. How simple. It would actually add color to the backdrop, too!
  3. Make food the star not the joke. If I see one more trailer where a vegetable is the punchline, this is one person who won’t be buying a ticket to that movie.
  4. Celebrate great workout and balanced food choices. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of how celebrities prepare for roles. How about a Grammy/Oscar for the most scientifically based, successful workout and eating plan? How about the dietitian and exercise physiologist gets up there with the rest of the cast and crew for helping make sure our favorite celebrities are around for a long time?
  5. Make product placement more relevant and show things in context of a full meal or menu. We can pretty much make any food choice work within the course of a meal, days’ worth of eating, or week. Integrate this approach into the script and prop selection.
  6. Stop featuring people with health, food, and wellness tips who have absolutely no training in the field. At least, it’s a waste of air time because they are talking gibberish and can reduce your credibility.  At most, it’s harmful when they make claims that aren’t true that if someone followed, could cause health issues.
  7. Integrate accurate information into scripts. Bet many don’t know that the CDC has some awesome resources to do just that. Science and credible information can lend depth to a story and in doing so, may just inspire the audience to make more informed choices themselves, or to appreciate those who do.

By Kim Kirchherr

I am a dietitian working in food and fiber (agriculture) through retail, addressing opportunities to make things better for people and planet.