Food company responses to obesity
Jeffrey Koplan (Emory) and Kelly Brownell (Yale) have a commentary in JAMA (October 6) titled “Response of the food and beverage industry to the obesity threat.” They describe how the food and beverage industries:
- Associate their products with health
- Frame the issues to emphasize balance or physical activity
- Pick and choose the science
- Reformulate products to make them appear healthier
- Defend themselves and attack critics
Sound familiar? For details, see Michele Simon’s excellent book, Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back (Nation Books, 2006).
Addition, October 10: Lori Dorfman of the Berkeley Media Studies Group reminds me about its 2007 Framing Brief, “Reading between the lines: understanding food industry responses to concerns about nutrition.” This group’s publications are always terrific resources for educating and taking action on food issues.