How does the food industry deflect blame for obesity



I have no idea who the Center for Consumer Freedom are or their purpose, but I do know they are funded by restaurants and food industries. I mention this only as a prelude to the article entitled, “Blame The Couch, Not Food Industry, For Obesity.” Hold your nose, because it gets worse than the title.

Let’s step back first and look at their website. Choose the Obesity Debate section. And I thought I was carrying the torch for obesity defiance. At least I realize obesity is a societal, health and personal issue. The folks at Consumer Freedom would like you to believe obesity really doesn’t exist. While I do like and agree with their stance on government intervention into food choices, I don’t think I can accept some of their opinions.

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Anyway, back to the article. With a title like that you would think this is a defense piece. It is, but they do a good job explaining the sedentary part of our lives:

Sure, there have been some changes between our meals and those of our grandparents. But the most radical transitions over the past decades have transpired not in our cooking, but in other pastimes.

They don’t consider the impact of high fructose corn syrup in diets, but they do have a point. They go on to say:

It may sound trivial. Yet, even a small convenience that keeps us from burning 50 calories each day-like emailing a co-worker instead of walking to her office-can tack on more than five pounds annually.

It is trivial and sort of silly. I like fun math as much as the next person, but you cannot apply a blanket formula to everyone’s metabolism. Such a small calorie expentidure is made up by the better foods mentioned earlier in the article.

The final line is the one that brings it all home:

Personal responsibility is a much harder pill to swallow.

Exactly. Very few people are naturally obese. There is a difference between being predisposed to obesity and leading a lifestyle of obesity. There are medical issues that cause obesity, but a very small percentage of people suffer them. The vast majority have made personal lifestyle changes that lead them to obesity. Now, if only the Center for Consumer Freedom would discuss how their industry has contributed to this through ingredient, pricing and advertising we might get somewhere.