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NYT article on junk food: Do you think it'll accomplish anything?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Reading things like this makes me so glad I made a change, but for the masses, particular those in low income brackets, it's not so easy.

Do you think a piece like this will spark change in any way or is the fast food industry too big? Is there no way to battle the epidemic these massive corporations of pure evil have unleashed upon the planet?

Articles:

NYTimes

Esquire

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2013
at 08:15 PM

that's a bit of a mis-characterization. The law suit was based around (1) McDonald's failed in their fiduciary duty to provide adequate and accurate nutritional data; (2) McDonald's acted in reckless disregard of public health. The latter charge was dropped, the former charge was awarded, but with no monitary exchange. Rather McDonald's is required to provide, within reasonable range of the register, a list of the FDA nutritional values.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 21, 2013
at 06:41 PM

They can be that dumb! Living with their heads in the sand makes life easier. It's easier to throw Happy Meals at their kids than to be bothered making something from scratch because "they had a long day" or "Little Johnny doesn't like it when I tell him 'no.'"

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3 Answers

1
D1d9b0d839144b72b5f5dae893a686d3

(602)

on February 21, 2013
at 03:53 PM

This will have little effect. Anyone who thinks and pays attention and reads already knows (or at least assumes) everything in this article. The "food" companies don't really try to hide it and it is quite obvious.

People know (in general terms at least) what foods are healthy and what aren't. They may have been misled about things like whole grains and saturated fat, but nobody thinks the bucket of KFC or the dessert pizza is good for them. People eat those things out of laziness. Too lazy to cook, too lazy to make decisions that might be more difficult. They rationalize it through lazy thinking patterns like "calories in calories out," "everything in moderation," or "just having it occasionally won't hurt."

Laziness also prevents them from reading, listening to, or considering ideas that they don't agree with (unless they want to get mad at "the other side.") If someone is too lazy to throw a steak in a pan, good luck getting them to read a 14 page article that claims that the way that they live their life is wrong and unhealthy.

Articles like this are only read by people who already know. I wish it were different, but don't expect massive shortages of salmon and kale because of this article.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2013
at 04:09 PM

the NY Times article is pretty inflammatory, and it names names which may add to some culpability.

The part about the General Mills CEO -- essentially bragging about the fact that purposefully serve the customer's tastes (via hyperpalatable foods) and ignore health, also how he made millions off of taking the "healthy" yogurt trend, added 3-4 times the sugar and specifically marketed his products to children -- is chilling

Also how they compared the food industry to the tobacco industry...

The "meeting" was in 1999. that's 14 years ago and it has only gotten worse.

There are only two ways this article can change things:

  1. The Government gets involved -- this is a bad thing. And the reason it is a bad thing is that (1) the government will set rules (based on Ancel Keys flawed research) that are counter-productive. (2) Prescriptive rules it limit the consumer's choices. (3) They create a set of rules that allow the manufacturers to "game the system" around. all three horrible outomces (in my opinion)

  2. People take personal responsibility and attack these corporations with the strongest weapon in a capitalistic environment -- the boycott. Now I am not calling for a massive boycott, I think that should be a personal opinion. Also I am not calling for people to boycott every product from these companies. It is more effective if you boycott the bad products and purchase the good products (few and far between, I know). The companies will change course if we hit them in the wallet.

0
6dc767a3b94cb0133601caf6c39ea218

(330)

on February 21, 2013
at 04:08 PM

People will always be in denial. How about the person who sued MsDonald's (i think that was the fast-food place) for gaining weight and being unhealthy because they claimed they had no idea it wasn't "healthy" to eat there, everyday!!?? People can't be that dumb....

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 21, 2013
at 06:41 PM

They can be that dumb! Living with their heads in the sand makes life easier. It's easier to throw Happy Meals at their kids than to be bothered making something from scratch because "they had a long day" or "Little Johnny doesn't like it when I tell him 'no.'"

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2013
at 08:15 PM

that's a bit of a mis-characterization. The law suit was based around (1) McDonald's failed in their fiduciary duty to provide adequate and accurate nutritional data; (2) McDonald's acted in reckless disregard of public health. The latter charge was dropped, the former charge was awarded, but with no monitary exchange. Rather McDonald's is required to provide, within reasonable range of the register, a list of the FDA nutritional values.

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