It is not be a surprise that college students stay up late at night. Some have papers to finish, tests to study for, or stay up for more “social” reasons. It doesn’t take long to shift your lifestyle to “college time.” It didn’t take long for me. What I’m referring to is the ridiculous late nights and the mornign of sleeping in late. Soon for all intents and purposes “morning” (when you wake up) is after noon, and “night” (when you go out) is after midnight.
The other day my friend wanted to get together on Saturday “morning.” I asked, “How about nine?” His response was “Heck no! I’m saying at noon!” Apparently, I forgot about college time.
So what does that have to do with fast food?
I couldn’t believe it when I saw the Taco Bell’s new ads pushing “4th Meal.” Of course, no one ever has any good reason to eat fast food, as many studies and common sense will tell you how horrible it is, but probably the only thing worse than eating fast-food is eating late at night!
Some researchers believe that the sleep you receive before midnight is four times more effective than sleep after midnight, and fast-food isn’t necessarily the easiest thing on the stomach, which doesn’t help already sleep-deprived college students.
After I noticed these ads, I realized how common is was. Drive-thrus open in the early hours of the morning and some are open all night! Even here in West Chester, there are fliers selling late-night cheese steaks and pizza shops with hours “to fit any lifestyle.” Did you notice it’s the unhealthiest food that is pushed late at night?
Of course, everyone is allowed to make a buck, and the late-night crammers may enjoy a break to get some grub, but what message is this advertising delivering? Most people won’t think about the physical consequences of “4th Meal.”
When advertising models were degrading women and encouraging unhealthy lifestyles such as anorexia, people spoke up, and continue to do so today. Advertisers can control the messages they deliver. To someone out there, your money is much more important than your health.
While both your money and your health are primarily your responsibility, no advertiser has the right to make that responsibility harder for you.
Sean Deminski is a student at West Chester University.