Canadian doctor — and friend to Dietitians For Professional Integrity — Yoni Freedhoff recently penned an op-ed for The Globe and Mail titled “Why the food industry is not your friend.”
In it, he explains why waiting around for the food industry to fix the current public health situation is futile.
- “Diet and weight-related chronic diseases are on the rise, and we have been so well and fully hoodwinked by the food industry that we’re now looking to them for help. Whether it’s inviting the food industry to the table in creating Canada’s Food Guide, or ParticipACTION’s partnership with Coca-Cola to promote sport, or the welcoming of food industry money to fund, sponsor and promote our hospitals, schools, sporting arenas, and community races, the food industry is buying the impression that they’re part of the solution.”
- “The food industry is not your friend. That’s not a mean-spirited statement, it’s just the truth. To follow a course of action divorced from profits and consistent instead with ethics or morals or health is a luxury denied to corporations by their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders.”
- “Don’t hold your breath for government action either. Given short political mandates, food industry influence and money, and the pervasive belief that personal responsibility is the only tool required for good health, politicians aren’t particularly interested in nutrition and healthful living. If we want to see change, it’s going to have to come from within.”
- “Starting at home, find a way to cook and eat together more often. Next take the fight to your community. Take it to your schools, libraries, soccer fields, and city councilors. Finally, take the fight to your state and country.”
We completely agree. This prevalent myth that industry can get us out of hole it had a hand in systemically digging over the past few decades is an example of mass delusion.
As it stands, the “solutions” industry has patted itself in the back for over the years have included 100-calorie packs of Chips Ahoy cookies, reduced-fat and highly-processed offerings, and adding a dusting of whole grains to the likes of Lucky Charms.