Today, Beyond Chron’s Dana Woldow published an interview with Dietitians For Professional Integrity Strategic Director Andy Bellatti.
- On “sitting at the table” with industry: “Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have one very simple mission: sell as much product as possible. A health organization has – or should have – a different mission: improve the health of Americans. I am all for sitting at the table, but let’s do that with individuals and organizations that have the same goal. Otherwise, this is like a three-legged race where a 9 foot tall, 600 pound giant (Big Soda) wants to go left, while its 4 foot tall, 80 pound partner (a health organization with a smaller budget and less political clout) wants to go right.”
- On “all foods can fit into a healthy diet”: “It is a toothless, vague, apolitical and industry-friendly message. This is precisely why taking money from the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, General Mills, and Kellogg’s is so problematic. In trying to keep financial backers happy, compromises are made. In this case, the Academy’s nutrition messaging gets watered down. Those defending this sort of messaging claim that anything deviating from it “demonizes” foods and judges people. Talking about the detrimental, scientifically proven health effects of smoking, alcohol, soda, and highly processed or fast food is not about judging people; it is about providing a public service.”
- On Coca-Cola’s Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness: “It’s the epitome of damage control; essentially, a well-done Public Relations effort to defend Coca-Cola’s product portfolio under the guise of “health education.” Big Food and Big Soda have huge budgets, which allow them to hire the best marketing, consumer psychology, and communications experts. None of this is an amateurish production.”