Two of the food industry’s go-to talking points are that dietary choices are entirely about personal responsibility and that industry is able to self-regulate.
In a recent interview on dietitian Melinda Hemmelgarn’s Food Sleuth podcast, renowned pediatric endocrinologist — and DFPI supporter and ally — Dr. Robert Lustig explained why those talking points are inaccurate, exposed common food industry deceptive marketing tactics, and explored political strategies that public health nutrition advocates could tap into.
Dr. Lustig pointed out that anyone looking to reduce their intake of added sugars, for instance, faces a challenge due to a lack of transparency. Currently, food labels don’t differentiate between added and naturally occurring sugars.
Remember, industry has fought tooth and nail against the Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to include added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label, claiming consumers would be “confused”. Funny, if anything, it has been industry’s misleading healthwashing of junk food that has caused plenty of public confusion.
As for the argument that food choices are strictly about personal responsibility, Dr. Lustig posed: “how can you exercise personal responsibility if you don’t have access to real food?”
Dr. Lustig also added that “the market should regulate itself except when it can’t.”