There might be a new big brother in town that is set up to monitor food industry influence of nutrition research, conflicts of interest, and bias. Introducing Feed the Truth with advocates Marion Nestle (Food Politics), Michael Jacobson (CSPI), and Debra Eschmeyer (White House) on the board of directors.
A quick read for Nutrition Month. Do you understand the influence of the food industry? Are you aware that the food industry funded research is 5x more likely to conclude that there is no association between sugar sweetened beverages and obesity than systematic reviews without conflicts of interest.
Do you sometimes see #ad and think, “This person is trying to influence what I buy.” Or … Do you scroll right by it? Perhaps you don’t even notice that it’s an ad at all or what that really means?
Nutrition bias? Industry influence? Sponsorship?
When a profitable company is seeking Dietetic professionals to create advertisements for their product they are asking you to influence the market although most prefer the term ‘educate’. Why? Because we’re the biggest influencers of the food market.
When laws are passed and delayed for the benefit of the food industry it sends a strong message to the public. Is the government is inadequately responding to the health problems our population faces because corporate profit is more important?
I don’t think that labelling calories of food items will solve the health crisis we’re facing but … I do think that labelling calories can help consumers make better decisions about their food based on increased knowledge for the times that they do choose to eat out.
Past FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg has said “Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume … Making calorie information available on chain restaurant menus and vending machines is an important step for public health that will help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families.”
Marion Nestle, Big food, food lobby and industry involvement in policy development.