June 12, 2014

Food Industry Profits Come First

What will the food industry think up next to fool the public? The abstract for the study by a George Washington University associate professor, Ivy Ken, makes some accurate observations about the priorities of the food industry. The full study is in this PDF file.

Learn about these two organizations - the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG). Ivy Ken says, “The analysis I present here reveals that the organizations’ positive message of “getting everybody together” to solve the problem of childhood obesity is meant to deliberately obscure corporate culpability.”

Food corporations and the related industries rarely prioritize healthy communities over healthy profit margins, but their profits depend on community acceptance. Corporations co-opt the rhetorical tactics typically associated with social movement organizations to frame their profit-maximizing practices as the solution to the problem of childhood obesity. The “work together” theme is a cover to obtain the acceptance of the public.

The extent of the companies' commitments is to create new marketing campaigns for lower-calorie products, making healthier options more prominent in stores, but still on the same shelves as their full-sugar, full fat options products. An example of the marketing campaign can be found here. Phil Ruggiero covers two different marketing campaigns and both show what can happen if people with diabetes believe the advertisements.

Food companies or Big Food work hard to divert our attention away from the problems of obesity and diabetes so that they can continue to have a healthy profit. It is fortunate that we have as much information on packaging as we do, although Big Food is attempting to corrupt the latest labeling change.

Please consider reading the full study by downloading the PDF file at the link in the first paragraph.

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