“Thinking Forward: The Quicksand of Appeasing the Food Industry” is a great read by Dr. Kelly Brownell of Yale University.
We agree wholeheartedly when he states:
” I expect history will look back with dismay on the celebration of baby steps industry takes (such as public–private partnerships with health organizations, “healthy eating” campaigns, and corporate social responsibility initiatives) while it fights viciously against meaningful change (such as limits on marketing, taxes on products such as sugared beverages, and regulation of nutritional labeling).”
Also, we can never forget that:
“… the food industry, like all industries, plays by certain rules—it must defend its core practices against all threats, produce short-term earnings, and in do doing, sell more food. If it distorts science, creates front groups to do its bidding, compromises scientists, professional organizations, and community groups with contributions, blocks needed public health policies in the service of their goals, or engages in other tactics in “the corporate playbook” this is what is takes to protect business as usual.”
It is crucial for health-oriented organizations, like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to stop fostering the myth that the food industry is — or longs to be — part of “the solution” to the very problems they have created and continue to propagate.
Can the Academy — or any dietitian who is employed by the food industry — point to any tangible (and meaningful?) benefits achieved from sitting at that proverbial table?
The food industry has largely become complacent because it knows it has many health organizations in its pocket. Until the Academy and other organizations shift their perspective and stop having blind faith in an industry that is not in any way geared towards health, we can’t expect much to change.