The Healthy Food Movement: Strength in Unity


dietary changes appeared to be shifting universally towards a diet dominated by higher intakes of calorie dense foods corn syrup and sugar animal products and oils thanks to global agricultural policies that have built in a long-term focus on creating things like cheap corn consumption of these foods high in saturated trans fats salt and sugars the cause at least 14 million deaths every year 14 million people dead this is not a failure of individual willpower says the director-general of the World Health Organization this is a failure of political will to take on big business which is a formidable opposition few governments prioritize health over big business as we learn from experience with the tobacco industry powerful corporation can sell the public just about anything the difficult terrain for many public health scientists it took five decades after the initial studies linking tobacco and cancer for effective public health policies to be put in place with enormous cost to human health must we wait another five decades to respond to the epidemics of dietary diseases they do have money on their side the chemical tobacco and food industries have the luxury to share similar tactics with the drug companies because they have the resources to do so by contrast powerful and cheap health promoting activities like eating a healthy diet are too cheap can’t be patented preventing cardiovascular disease is not an easy task because it means engaging in a battle against strong industrial sectors but it is possible with sufficient political courage and it’s been done before there’s a great example of action in public health nutrition that is succeeding the move back to breast feeding your breast milk doesn’t make anyone any money and so companies like nestle pushed infant formulas and millions of babies may have died as a result so a global movement rose up and resulted in the passage of a code regulating the marketing of breast milk substitutes as a director-general of the World Health Organization at the time said without their constant lobbying reminding us of our duty as public health officers they simply would not have had the courage to do it what has this got to do with nutrition and food policy now everything if we want to improve public health we we need to seek out the food nutrition equivalents of Greenpeace we should be prepared to stand up and be counted even if it puts jobs and careers and nutrition on the line to do that the healthy food movement needs to stay united Philip Morris is still fighting into the 21st century check out their latest campaign dubbed Project sunrise they hope to they hope will lead to a dawn of a new day for the company an explicit divide and conquer strategy against the tobacco control movement this is from the actual internal planning documents they figure the number one vulnerability the anti-smoking movement is that their success made blind organizations too carefully orchestrated efforts by the tobacco industry and its allies to accelerate turf wars and exacerbate philosophical schisms their overall objective was to attack the credibility of anti-smoking movement by creating schisms to force them to fight amongst themselves and think of how much that that we already do in the healthy food movement right but it’s distracting us from the bigger picture because unity was defined as a source of strength for the anti tobacco movement anti-smoking movement one of their primary strategy was to drive a wedge between various anti-smoking groups another was to weaken the public health movements credibility one strategy to weaken the credibility of anti to back groups is to develop communication strategies to demonstrate the extremism of the health prevention movement first tobacco then alcohol then meat then who knows not only our tobacco lawyers a bit spelling challenged but public health groups are part of a health promotion movement health prevention is more the purview of big AG you

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