Cynical Advertising & Obesity: How The Industry Hijacked Food

I wrote an article back in 2014 documenting the pernicious role advertising & marketing were playing in the obesity epidemic. From Coca Cola’s have your ‘name on a bottle’ campaign or highly refined Cereal companies offering toys in their boxes, or huge Sports Stars advertising McDonald’s & Subway like its staple of their diet, the food industry pays huge money to manipulate how we perceive food.

It’s worth a read if you’re interested in assessing your psychological relationship with food vs. product.

It’s hard to overstate the massive impact this manipulation has on the psychology of children. Once a habit/relationship is welded to the neurocircuitry in youth, it is very hard to break the cycle in adulthood, as proven by the statistics on obese children going on to be obese adults.

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The industry know this, they know if they get children they’ll have a customer for life and they’re doing everything to stop effective reforms/changes to tackle obesity by aggressive lobbying & threatening government with exporting jobs. In Ireland,  a sugar tax has not been introduced on heavily sweetened drinks despite 88% of the population in favour after shocking reports that almost one third of Irish children are overweight/obese and 4 in every 5 adults over 50 are overweight.

Yet the worrying power of the globalised food industry can be seen in all jurisdictions. From Michelle Obama’s stark change in emphasis in her childhood obesity campaign from food to ‘exercise’ after huge industry pressure to Theresa May’s pledge to end health inequality of Britain’s poorest, diluted to mere voluntary programs for industry.

This despicable relationship between government & industry means we’ve accepted giving children a life of chronic disease and depression in exchange for corporate profit.

 

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