Modal close

Hi there,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines, or our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. You need news that isn't being paid for by campaigns or corporations. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on your support. Right now, every new monthly sustaining donation to Democracy Now! will be tripled by a generous supporter. That means if you can give just $4 a month, Democracy Now! gets $12 today.  Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, start your monthly contribution today. Thanks so much. -Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Donate

The Politics of Food: The Food Industry Spends $33 Billion in Advertising This Year, While Over One Quarter of U.S. Adults Are Obese

Listen
Media Options
Listen

It’s a public health nightmare: The number of people in this country who are obese doubled from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Over one quarter of adults, and more than 12 percent of children in the US are obese.

The food industry spends around $33 billion a year in advertising and promotion to persuade people to eat more food. A New York man is suing McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and KFC, saying that their marketing tactics are responsible for his obesity and two heart attacks.

Companies like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Slim-Fast sponsor university-based research and nutrition journals. American Dietetic Association fact sheets on food and nutrition are sponsored by Monsanto, NutraSweet and Campbell.

At the World Food Summit in Rome last month, the US stood alone among 182 nations in opposing the right to food. The Bush administration pushed for a narrow world-hunger agenda, emphasizing a greater role for the private sector and biotechnology firms.

The food industry spends millions lobbying Congress and regulatory agencies. It pays off. Last month President Bush signed a $190 billion farm bill. Under the 10 year program, taxpayers will pay farmers $4 billion a year to grow more corn. The people who benefit from the production of corn are not the farmers, but the processors, factory farms, snack and soft drink makers, who have switched from using sugar to corn sweeteners. Writer Michael Pollan points out in an op-ed piece in the New York Times/ *_that our diet has undergone a process of “cornification” in recent years, just as the epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes swept the country._*

We’re joined right now by Michael Pollan, as well as Marion Nestle, author of “Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health.” After Nestle published her book, the Sugar Association threatened to sue her. She’s been called “one of the top nags of the anti-consumer movement.”

Guests:

  • *_*Michael Pollan*, bestselling author of “The Botany Of Desire.” He is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and a former editor at Harper’s Magazine. He wrote an op-ed in the NY Times last week called “When a Crop Becomes King.”_*
  • Marion Nestle, author of “Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health” and Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. She was managing editor of the l988 Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health.

Related links:

Related Story

Video squareStorySep 18, 2018Intercept Report Reveals Senate Ignored Federal Court Employees Willing to Testify Against Kavanaugh
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop