“In one study among women followed for four years, consuming one or more of these [soda] drinks per day nearly doubled the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, compared with women who drank fewer than one a month. And the authors concluded that those who increased their consumption of sugary drinks also “increased energy intake” — calories, that is — “from other foods, indicating that these beverages may even induce hunger and food intake.
No one is claiming that sugar-sweetened drinks are the only reason Americans have gotten fatter and developed high rates of Type 2 diabetes. But at no time in history have we eaten more caloric sweeteners than we do today, and soft drinks are the main culprit.”
In Fight Against Obesity, Drink Sizes Matter - Jane E. Brody, NYTimes
To perpetuate the cursory argument that the banning of large sodas (over 16 fl oz) is an “infringement on our rights as consumers” at this state of our nation’s healthcare troubles is to do a disservice to millions of people.
These actions should not be thought of as a unwelcome edification, a finger wave, or a nuisance — this regulation is an overdue defense against the deep pockets and large legal teams of companies like Coca Cola and PepsiCo who have the ability to spend billions of dollars to convince people that soda can do no harm.
It’s not a coincidence that when nations outside of the states adopt a western diet of soda and junk food does the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease rise dramatically. As citizens, we cannot take on the sole responsibility of protecting ourselves from multinational corporations. The New York City government is just trying to do it’s job and it’s in our best interest (in this case) to let them.
If you have 10 minutes, this is a concise and thought provoking video by the BBC comparing Big Food to Big Tobacco, and the lawyers who are working to take on Big Food. There is a section that shows neuroscience researchers testing hypotheses on food and addiction that is both fascinating and creepy (shoving shrimp scampi in a woman’s face while she lays in an MRI tunnel). Kelly Brownell, a personal favorite of mine from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, is featured.
“Only when you affect their profit can you affect their behavior.”
“There’s a place called Hidden Valley Ranch where kids not only eat their vegetables, [THEY SMOTHER THEM IN BOTTLED RANCH DRESSING, NEGATING THEIR NATURAL, NUTRIENT RICH DELICIOUSNESS]. Hidden Valley Ranch, makes vegetables [TASTE LIKE SALT].”
Fixed that for you.
Clear evidence that Big Food wants to trick you.
I read about this somewhere a few months ago, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen the horrifying sight in real life.
Potato chips prominently displayed in the produce section.
Apparently, processed food companies are trying to work their products into the fresh/unprocessed food section of grocery stores to align them with healthier alternatives and boost sales.
Normally, (and I’m sure this is the case for many), I never travel down the chips aisle, but now here they are, right in the middle of two weekly staples: avocados and tomatoes. Perhaps a shopper was picking up some tomatoes for salad, then saw the chips, and thought… Mmm chips and guac! Delicious and totally fine.. except when a company is manipulating you when you’re not even aware.
Nothing makes me angrier. So BEWARE! Don’t let Big Food get a hand on your grocery list. Get that junk out of my produce aisle.
Ronald McDonald is an ambassador for McDonald’s, and he is an ambassador for good. He does not advertise unhealthy food to children.Jim Skinner, McDonald’s CEO
I get a little too excited when The New Yorker publishes essays about food. My favorite magazine writing articles on my favorite topics? They’re always good. This week I read “Snacks for a Fat Planet,” a piece about PepsiCo and their shift towards becoming a “good company.” The current CEO, Indra Nooyi, is spending a great deal of money on researching products that are healthier alternatives to their sodas and chips.
Of course, the plan is full of marketing techniques and lies, but she’s making an impressive effort. Impressively ludicrous. My jaw dropped open a few times while reading the article and I’d like to share those key bits with you:
1. Nooyi: “I’m providing the same great taste - that’s the common denominator - so you don’t have to make a choice between health and taste.”
2. “Lay’s does make baked potato chips, but not from actual potato slices. Baked chips are fabricated from potato flakes that are shaped into chips after baking.”
3. “PepsiCo’s newest crusader - a robot that the company’s scientists have fitted with human taste buds - in the quest for the holy grail, a natural, zero-calorie sweetener that tastes exactly like sugar…’Before the robot we had people tasting all those things, and it took forever. But now the robot tells us what we’ve got.”
4. “Let’s say you give a kid a carrot,” Nooyi explained. “And he says, ‘I don’t want to eat a carrot.’ But you say, ‘I tell you what, I’ll give it to you in a wonderful drinkable form that’s still as close to the carrot as possible.’ All of a sudden, what have I done? I’ve drinkified a snack!”
There are so many more gems in this article, but I’ll leave with those. I’m going to make a smoothie out of strawberries, peanut butter and milk. LOOK WHAT I DID! I DRINKIFIED A SNACK!
I spent a lot of time sitting in a car in Los Angeles. Apparently this is not unusual. I didn’t drive to many places - just from the airport to hotel and back and then to Long Beach and back. But hellooooo traffic! Along the way, I noticed similar billboards popping up every few blocks:
After I saw a few of these, I started taking a closer look. They are EVERYWHERE! I finally realized that they’re advertisements for lap band surgery. Whoever is paying to put these up sure didn’t want to make it obvious… This was the first billboard I saw that said LAP BAND. (Notice how they leave out the word “surgery.”)
These billboards have so little information! Lap Band surgery is not an insignificant procedure. It can be dangerous, and in most cases, is probably not the best solution to weight problems. During the surgery, a band is literally placed around the stomach in order to restrict the amount of food the stomach can hold.
While this surgery is safer and less invasive than gastric-bypass, it still involves putting a foreign object around your stomach in order to accelerate weight loss. Lap band surgery forces the patient to eat less, rather than providing necessary education to learn to maintain a healthy lifestyle that would promote natural weight loss and overall improved health.
The billboards (which I’m sure are a direct reflection of the company’s attitude) are making lap band surgery seem like the easiest, safest way to end weight problems and that is an absolute lie.
These billboards could not be avoided:
(Ugh, in this one you can see the poster for our movie beneath the billboard!)
How would you even know what this billboard is for?
Almost missed that one.
There were several more that I couldn’t capture in time, but by the end of an hour long car ride, I was totally disgusted. Just one google search of “1-800-Get-Thin” pulled up a slew of articles about this scam.
Here’s a quote from an LA Times article:
The tragedy of Ana Renteria’s life was in the way it ended: her body ravaged by infection 10 days after she had the Lap-Band weight-loss operation advertised on those billboards and radio spots bearing the phone number 1-800-GET-THIN.
Is there no regulation to stop companies from advertising surgeries like this one so prolifically? How many complications and deaths will it take to get these taken down?
I stumbled upon this online pamphlet published by Yum Brands, the company that owns KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Long John Silvers. I’ve been staring at it all day trying to figure out how to write this blog post because I was so appalled and excited at the same time.
Basically, the pdf contains several colorful pages adorned with photos of farmland and fresh ingredients, on top of which they printed perfectly crafted statements about their products being nourishing and natural and delicious.
And they do a DAMN good job of it! They are seriously convincing - it is no wonder why so many Americans have no idea how bad the food actually is for your health. I’m not arguing against eating fast food - I’m arguing against the LIES. Consumers should at least be aware of what they are eating. So I’m going to throw up a few screenshots of the pamphlet and let my feelings out of my system.
High food quality? You mean genetically modified produce and animals fed unnatural diets and raised in CAFOs? And you say you’ve been raising industry standards? That’s interesting because I don’t see these companies pushing for better organic standards or animal welfare laws.
Dear Yum Brands. Did you know that 36.6% of Americans are overweight and 26.5% are obese? Or how about the fact that when Western diets are adopted by other cultures, it results in a health care crisis? Maybe you shouldn’t boast about your statistics.
I don’t even know what to say about this. KFC Chicken shouldn’t even pass as chicken. Their hens are grown to have such large breasts that the chickens are actually unable to walk. There is nothing wholesome or high quality about KFC ingredients. You’d be better off eating dirt.
Which is a good thing because their meat is practically MADE OUT OF CORN after all the corn based feed fed to animals.
I’ll just leave this here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/gavon/the-top-ingredients-in-taco-bells-beef
Alright. My rant is done. I feel better. Companies like Yum Brands will continue publishing lies and I’ll still be here to expose them!
The empowerment of public opinion in North America concerning negative effects of the sweetened beverages industry was acknowledged by an executive of Coca Cola in 2007, who declared: “Our Achilles heel is the discussion about obesity. It’s gone from a small, manageable U.S. issue to a huge global issue. It dilutes our marketing and works against it. It’s a huge, huge issue.
If you enjoy reading nutrition papers and research findings, this is a good one and it’s not very long. I find lot’s of good stuff on Marion Nestle’s blog, www.foodpolitics.com
There are hungry people everywhere. UNICEF got it all started. We’ve seen the babies with the extended tummies, the walking skeletons, told that kids can’t learn unless they’re fed. We’ve been guilted into pouring resources on the problem. And now, now, the latest crisis is that there is obesity among those who are impoverished. Because we are sympathetic, we are compassionate people, WE HAVE RESPONDED BY LETTING OUR GOVERNMENT LITERALLY FEED THESE PEOPLE TO THE POINT OF OBESITY. At least here in America, didn’t teach them how to fish, we gave them the fish. Didn’t teach them how to butcher a — slaughter a cow to get the butter, we gave them the butter. The real bloat here, as we know, is in — is in government.
I hate to give him more publicity, I really do, because I know he is just trying to get a rise out of people. But this time, damnit, he succeeded. And the problem is, PEOPLE LISTEN TO HIM and they believe him.
He is spreading a horrible misconception. A high percentage of low income families are overweight because the food made available to them by our government is NOT ACTUALLY FOOD. It’s garbage. Empty calories, sugary, salty, fattening junk that is available to them because it costs almost nothing at all. And what about food deserts? Take the train out to Bushwick and try to find some fresh food out there. You won’t.
Hunger in America does exist and it upsets me when people of power who know better and have access to all the clear and factual information continue to spread lies such as this one.
Accent theme by Handsome Code
Welcome to my blog! I’m Michelle, a 27 year old vegetarian, runner, future doctor, and healthy-living enthusiast. My life revolves around food. Cooking food, eating food, discussing the politics of food. We’re surrounded by so many false advertisements and misconceptions about nutrition, its difficult to know where the truth lies. This is my attempt to make everything a bit clearer.
Follow me while I eat delicious food, cook healthy meals, run races, and strive to separate the food truths from lies, while attempting to survive the premed lifestyle in NYC.
Questions/Comments? Send me an email! Michelle@thehonestpalate.com