Come January 1st we’re surrounded by diet talk. Family, friends and colleagues talk about how much they ate over the Holidays, while TV, print and Internet are jam packed with ways to lose the extra poundage that may have accumulated. The beginning of a New Year makes many of us think a little more about our body, our eating plan and our exercise regimen – and advertisers take full advantage of this state of mind.

On the one hand I find the onslaught of diet and exercise related advertising annoying, but I also wonder whether it has a silver lining. Sure, I know the advertisers are generally more interested in their own bottom line than our best interests, but maybe the reminder to get into better shape is a positive thing. Still, I’m pretty sure that 99% of the “get in shape quick” programs are about as effective as the “get rich quick” programs that regularly cheat people out of their money.

Do you reflect about your body and your state of health a little more in January? How are you affected by the media’s relentless messages on how to lose weight, eat healthily and exercise more at this time of year?

Ps. One little irony: as soon as we publish this I predict that some sort of “get in shape quick” ad will appear on this page. This is the marvel of targeted advertising that analyses the content of the page and serves up relevant ads. We have a policy of blocking the ads that we find offensive or questionable, but sometimes they sneak through.