Big Food Fights Dirty in the War Against Obesity

Big Food is under attack for their contribution to the global obesity epidemic.

If it isn’t restaurants being “forced” to list nutrition info on their menus, it’s soda manufacturers being chastised by politicians or processed food producers being slammed for the high levels sugar, salt & chemicals in their food.

And just like tobacco producers back in the 80s, Big Food is fighting back.

Earlier this week, ABC News uncovered one of their strategies.

Lying.

David Allison is a renowned scientist who runs an obesity research center at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He has a 108-page resume and has been honored at the White House.

He is also the recently resigned incoming president of the Obesity Society.

Dr Allison resigned his position after his colleagues expressed outrage when he “was paid by the New York Restaurant Association to file an affidavit in its case against New York City and its law requiring restaurants to post calorie information on menus, saying the law might actually make people eat more.

And it’s not just the NYRA.

Allison has been paid by Coca-Cola, Pepsi, the American Beverage Association, Kraft, McDonald’s, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars and Nabisco to say that it hasn’t been proven that their products contribute to obesity.

In addition to over $2.5 million in research grants from private industry, Dr. Allison receives considerable consulting and speaking fees from food & beverage producers.

Critics say Allison is part of a concerted effort by big food to co-opt scientists not only by funding their research but by offering them lucrative speaking and consulting deals, in an effort to confuse U.S. families about the health effects of popular food products.

Such tactics, critics say, are similar to those once used by Big Tobacco.

In a recent commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, respected food researchers asserted that the industry has participated in “deceptive science and advocacy.” They say “the food and beverage industry has created or funded front groups reminiscent of the tobacco institute that give the appearance of grassroots support.”

The groups, they say, include Americans Against Food Taxes and the Center for Consumer Freedom, organizations that are largely funded by the food and beverage industries.

“Big tobacco, big sugar,” food researcher Popkin said, “identical in the way they treat scientists.”

And it’s not just individual scientists.

Hospitals and medical associations take money from food producers to conduct obesity research.

Of course, these organizations are quick to assert that their research is not affected by industry funding.

The American Dietetic Association took money from Hershey to collaborate on a “Moderation Nation” website, to reach millions with a healthy-eating message, they said.

Here’s one of the recipes from the website.

Fudgey Fruit Pizza.

Because nothing says healthy like a fudge pizza does.

mmmmmmmmmmm fudge.

Let’s be honest…

  • Everybody knows that our population is getting fatter day after day.
  • Everybody knows that eating Fudgey Fruit Pizza will make you fat.

However, no one at Hershey or Coca-Cola or McDonald’s or Kellogg’s or Nabisco is forcing you to buy the food that is making the world a fatter place.

We live in a free market.

  • If you want to buy food that makes you fat…go right ahead.
  • If a company wants to sell you food that makes people fat…go right ahead

But, when a company lies to us – saying that their food isn’t a direct cause of the worldwide explosion of obesity…that’s when people get pissed off.

And when Big Food companies co-opt respected scientists, doctors, medical associations & hospitals to help propagate those lies….people get even more pissed off.

And when people get pissed off, they tell other people. (hint, hint)

 

0 thoughts on “Big Food Fights Dirty in the War Against Obesity

  1. Well said. I believe people should be allowed to make their own food decisions. Some of the new cafeteria-Nazi strategies being implemented in schools, like telling kids they can’t have chocolate milk in their little thermoses or completely banning brown bags from home, make me sick. And on a rare cheat day, I don’t want anyone telling me I can’t put tater tots on an ice cream sundae. But misinformation – lying – is just wrong. When I eat out, especially when prepping for a contest, I live in fear that the nutrition information is wrong. And it very well might be. A recent Tufts study showed that restaurant items contain an average of 18% more calories on average than the published value, and sometimes up to 200% more. People deserve to make their own choices, but it’s hard to choose correctly when Big Food is using big money to deceive you.

  2. Hi can plz someone help me to loose weight specially fr my belly & also some good tips about cardiovascular excercise thank you. shahzad khan

  3. It is really scary that this epidemic has reached such epic proportions! I even saw a few articles pertaining to childhood obesity, stating that lawyers are fighting to put obese children in foster care, because the foods that are being fed to them act as a form of neglect…crazy! However, not everyone is obese and some individuals should be able to ejoy a little chocolate in moderation…so there is no need to bash the American Dietetic Assocaition(ADA).

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