Mon, Aug 12, 2013 - Page 9 News List

The redefinition of fat is a moneymaking scheme

Society is facing an epidemic of obesity. Behind the tangled relationship between multinational food giants and the weight loss business lies a world of questionable statistics and super-sized financial returns

By Jacques Peretti  /  The Guardian

It is funny, that analogy with smoking because deep in the archive at San Francisco University is a confidential memo written by an executive at the tobacco giant Philip Morris in the late 1990s, just as the WHO was defining obesity as a coming epidemic, advising the food giant Kraft on strategies to employ when it started being criticized for creating obesity.

Titled “Lessons Learnt From the Tobacco Wars,” it makes fascinating reading. The memo explains that just as consumers now blame cigarette companies for lung cancer, so they will end up blaming food companies for obesity, unless a panoply of defensive strategies are put into action. You might conclude that there was a good reason why the food industry bought into dieting — it was nothing personal, it was just business.

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