Monday, February 04, 2008

Revived ParticipACTION Program Sells Out to Highest Bidder

So a kind email tipster alerted me to this new development that Canada's newly resuscitated ParticipACTION program will happily sell its logo and name to apparently whoever ponies up with some cash.

So wanna meet the new dream team?

Wrap your brains around this one - ParticipACTION and Coca Cola have teamed up to help promote activity to Canada's youth.

Last Tuesday the Coca Cola Company proudly announced the launch of something called The Torch Leadership Program, the mandate of which is to,
"to promote healthy active lifestyles among youth"
which is Big Food double speak for trying to shift the blame for obesity off of caloric intake (from tall, cold glasses of sugar for instance) to a lack of caloric expenditure.

But get this,
"Coca-Cola has retained ParticipACTION, Canada’s authority on active living, to lead the design of the program and to coordinate its delivery across Canada."
Some of my international readers might be wondering by now, "What the heck's ParticipACTION?".

Well ParticipACTION is now a federally funded phoenix program that uses mass media to try to get Canadians more active and currently has been dusted and polished with clarion calls to its renewed role in the fight against obesity.

(To give you an idea of how effective ParticipACTION is at fighting obesity just look to its track record. Prior to its 2007 rebirth ParticipACTION ran for 30 years from 1970-2000, three decades during which obesity rates in Canadian children rose by roughly 300%.)

So if you were unlike me and in fact remained optimistic that ParticipACTION might help make a difference I'm sorry to deflate your bubble, but as evidence to support my contention that ParticipACTION just doesn't get it and almost certainly won't help do anything to stem the tide of childhood obesity in Canada, here's their quobesigenic quote from the press release,
"ParticipACTION is the national voice for physical activity in Canada. We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Coca-Cola Canada on its program to get Canadians moving more and to fight rising levels of inactivity among youth"
That quote by the way is from Kelly Murumets, the President and CEO of ParticipACTION, and she wasn't finished yet as she went on to state,
"We applaud Coca-Cola Canada for their leadership in using their Olympic sponsorship to inspire Canadians to adopt physical activity and sport as a way of life"
Already this January ParticipACTION has sold its logo to Weston Bakeries literally to be slapped on Wonder Bread and to Neilson's Dairy to be slapped on 2% and lower milk products (if anyone sees the logo on chocolate milk, please send it my way).

Yup, quite the dream teams.

Perhaps next we'll see the Canadian Lung Association sell its logo to Marlboro to help launch a bold new initiative aimed at decreasing urban air pollution?

Remember, nightmares are dreams.