Washington Post Article: Big Food and Internet Influencers - Disturbing

(Edith) #1

If anyone had any doubt about the motivation of big food. I would say this article proves it only cares about the bottom line and not the health of the public. In fact big food prefers people to be large and glutinous.

If you can’t see the article, I’ll try to cut and paste it in.


Rochon grew to believe that restricting food in any fashion would put her health in danger. Listening to mental hunger meant that if she was thinking about a food, she should eat it.

Oh. My. God.

Thanks for the article, it’s… I knew about a lot of things in it but not everything and the whole thing is quite overwhelming, I think I finish it later…

Oh my. There are people out there doing worse than I on my worst day (and I still can go wild, I assure you… it happens very very rarely and with my homemade food, mostly so could be worse but still, it’s NOT healthy. I merely can handle it due to the rarity) WHILE thinking it is good for them? I never was delusional, just ignorant but still had some vague about what is the absolute worst. Sigh.

I know the whole word is crazy but sometimes I think the US is crazier in some things. Those modern shaming/anti-shaming/political correctness things. We don’t have those here, at least not nearly to that extent… Some people run away with that in the US and probably in other countries, IDK where it is abundant. It’s not just food and size, of course, art has it too. And the “you are not … enough” Karens, oh my.
Of course, if it’s about food, basically the whole word epically mess it up.

Quite horrible. It’s not enough that poor kids grow up with horrid eating habits and the companies don’t get any better, there is this extra push… Tragic.

(KM) #3

I had to give them my email address but that’s ok, I like the WP and if they’re willing to give me free articles, so much the better.

This is just one more level of manipulation muddying the water. Framing healthy eating advice as “food shaming” draws on an increasingly common playbook tactic, basically saying, “reality is whatever you want it to be, and people who tell you something you don’t want to hear are just being mean to you.” (So stand up to those mean bullies and eat your Cocoa Puffs With Pride! :roll_eyes:) To have dieticians backing this up is pretty horrifying, though.


I feel like I’m in an episode of the Twilight Zone reading this. It’s absolutely disgusting and shocking. I don’t know where to begin with what is more disturbing about it, but I think I am most disgusted by the actual dietitians and their selfish greed for notoriety and money at the expense of true health.

But the food industry, smh: “The company has also enlisted a team of lobbyists and pushed back against federal policies that would add health information to food labels.”
“[Amy Cohn, General Mills’ senior manager for nutrition and external affairs] fielded a question from the audience about proposed Food and Drug Administration rules to label foods high in sugar, salt and fat. “We’re doing everything we can to prevent that from happening,” she said. “Shaming is what I call it.

If that’s not the Twilight Zone what is? This is so surreal I can’t believe it’s happening.

Reading the comments at the bottom of the article is also eye-opening. Some are hopeful with accurate info while others are just plain face palm.

(Joey) #5

Thanks … yeah, it’s behind a paywall so cannot see it.
But I doubt many would be surprised by such disclosures.


It’s not a paywall. I didn’t pay. I just gave a throw-away email account to create a free account


I gave nothing :slight_smile: I could read it once and not again.

I personally don’t care about that, I am against the few such labels we already have… I need the nutrition info (if it’s provided… the bigger part of my food has no such info) and that’s it. But getting a bad score because my food is fatty… I don’t like that.
Added sugar is obviously wrong though so if that helps someone, I don’t mind so much, I ignore these things anyway (bad score of some great fatty food still annoys me).
People probably would too, smokers don’t stop smoking just because there are warnings on the boxes and if they find it annying, they just put a cover on it, my SO’s Mom has one too. (She totally should stop smoking but she doesn’t do it.)
But if some people are merely ignorant and the labels would help… I just don’t think they would as they surely would continue what they do, salty, fatty food is horrible, grains are nice etc.
I don’t know what are these planned labels this time… But why would they be good? It never happened before and we see there is still chaos.
My problem with labels that I don’t live on that single product. It may have too much of something and it still may be quite fine. And I can understand if one occasionally eat a not superb product for some reason… Okay, a good label still could help as it can be interpreted as “for rare occasions”, not “wrong, never, shame on you!” :upside_down_face:

By the way, yes, don’t shame people because they eat less than ideal (according to the shamer, at least). It doesn’t mean we should urge them to damage and kill themselves, IDK why it is so hard to see. But people shame people who want to be healthy and have a nice figure so the world is totally crazy… People against shame does shaming just in some other direction. And they probably don’t even see that. There was the tiktok video or what in the article (I can’t look at it again)… All not “eating whatever” diets were mocked. Well, even my “eating whatever” is as I do that right now while doing carnivore (I love these early days :smiley: I hope it will last for a while). I don’t desire her ice cream and definitely wouldn’t be keen to get a modest but noticeable scolding from my body and probably a more serious one from my hedonistic self…

Not to this extent but I saw it before: some people can’t handle that others stick to a diet/woe. (I don’t even do it and I still feel somewhat attacked, not like I care much, it’s just unfair and stupid and I don’t like that). They imagine some unhealthy mental force on the other people’s part. We know this is common short-sighted human thing: they imagine others are somewhat similar than them. Obviously everyone and their mother desire to eat cakes and whatnots, right? So if a disciplined, serious hobby bodybuilder doesn’t eat from everything on the table on a holiday, they are stupid and way too strict. I saw that quite a few times. I think I saw it even from ketoers. Some people consider off times mandatory. We can’t just force ourselves to do keto ALL year round…
And while I go off a lot, I don’t eat like I did in the past basically ever. I don’t desire that. I enjoy my carni days the most (but well, I don’t eat what gives me most joy, it’s a tad more complex. and I get bored of meat anyway. I pretty much enjoy my carnivore diet while it lasts. it wouldn’t be that great totally all the time - but it may happen in the future, I am changing).

But this phenomenon in the article? This is much worse than that. Denial and greed and total lack of love towards people.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #8

Actually, the profession is dominated by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which believes as a matter of faith that eating meat excites lust and should be avoided. So it’s not just notoriety and money that are the motivations, but also evangelical zeal.

The food industry, on the other hand, . . . .

As Richard likes to say, “Follow the money.”

(KM) #9

So we should not incite lust, but we should “go forth and multiply”. Way to take the fun out of it, SDA!


Yep, it’s a duty, not joy!
Or something. I am a hedonist, I can’t understand these things…

By the way, IDK where they got their ideas but I can say my lust changes nothing if I eat vegetarian vs carnivore. Very little changes, actually though my individual body likes the lack of plant carbs, it’s not true for everyone.
I didn’t try eating both meat and plants but if it’s just about lust, I can’t imagine it would give a significant change.


I care about seeing the precise amounts myself because I want to know how much sugar has been added, if any at all. Especially on foods that I otherwise would assume are whole and untampered with, like a sausage or certain meats. When I see sugar or dextrose in the ingredients it upsets me because it’s not always necessary. If something as unsafe as sugar can be added to foods in a stealthy manner it’s upsetting to me. I also want to see how much fat and salt is in it because I’m trying to maintain certain levels in my body. I don’t want to know “as a warning,” I want to know as a matter of fact. They still see listing fat as a negative, LOL. But I will buy something with higher fat before buying something with lower fat.

Just the desire to hide true amounts of anything in food leads being untrustworthy. You’re right in that “warnings” on packaging won’t curb the choices of many, so why not just be full disclosure? If you’re selling something that you desire me to ingest, then you had better tell me precisely what is in it. They are starting with wanting to not disclose the sugar, fat and salt, but their goal is to hide a heck of a lot more than that eventually because of how unhealthy the cheaper ingredients are to manufacture their products, or the mad-made, lab-made ingredients.

(Geoffrey) #12

I’m not signing up for anything, I get enough spam as it is but I’m sure this article is just preaching to the choir around here. But that’s ok as I like the sermon. This is one of the first things I learned when I started researching carnivore. Learning of the corruption in big pharma, big ag, the medical community and our government taught me that I couldn’t trust any of the guidelines they were telling us. It caused me to look at everything with a critical eye. I soon learned to listen to those who were being vilified for a having a more informed and different opinion. Things just started to make sense. It’s really not much different that the disciples of the Bible who were vilified, hated, tortured and martyred for spreading the truth.


Of course. I am the same. We already have those labels. OH… You talk about places where it isn’t the case? I thought the new labels would be like that nutri-core here (fortunately barely anything has it).
Exact numbers per 100g, sure, it’s basic, I use that info since ages.
(Of course the numbers aren’t always reliable but it can’t be helped. I kind of trust the <0.5% carbs info, I can’t trust the fat info for smoked fatty meat as every slabs are different.)

Never if you ask me… But sugar is enhances flavor, allegedly, it’s very known… Even if it makes meat worse to me…

It varies for me. I have a very strong fat overeating tendency even after 14 years of fat minimalization efforts so I don’t want too fatty things. (More like too fatty days. As there is nothing wrong with my fav pork jowl with 86% fat in weight according to its label. But I need to be super careful, it’s so good! :D) But I do love and need fat and refuse to believe in low-fat dairy (I overdo it anyway, even more than the fatty stuff. I bought some nice sour kefir lately, very very VERY carefully drank from it twice, just a little bit… and bam, 12g sugar, not like it matters much to me but it’s possible even that sugar makes me hungrier. and it had fat too anyway and I don’t need extra fat, just fat from my lovely, satisfying, satiating normal food).

(KM) #14

The biggest takeaway, theoretically educated dieticians getting on the bandwagon of the anti-food-shaming movement, including advocating for children to make their own “nutritional” choices. I’m not surprised General Mills wants me to believe that defending my personal dignity and self validation hinges on eating Cocoa Puffs. Hearing a dietician echo that thought is another matter.

(Joey) #15

And this is supposed to make me not eat meat? At our age, my wife wants me to eat as much meat as possible. Dumbfounded. :confused:


That’s why I have a couple throw away accounts that I never, ever check the inbox for. :rofl: I only use them for things like this. I don’t need to maintain the emails they get at all. And I don’t have to go through any “verify email” requests when creating free accounts because they are throwaway Gmail accounts. So when it asks if I want to “sign in with Gmail”, I simply select “switch account” and select one of my throwaways. Done. Lol. I’m sure those accounts get junk mail, but I never log into them so never have to see them.


This movement conflates a lot of different things.

Part of the problem is people perceive a link between fat shaming and food shaming. You cannot shame a food! Perhaps you can shame a producer of empty calories but that is different. The reason people advocate for this is that who among us who when overweight and eating SAD hasn’t hesitated to get that second piece of cake while family and friends watch?I remember my thin boss (actually a nice guy normally) making an unintentionally nasty comment when I, who was working late, went to a conference room to scrounge for leftovers so I didn’t have to order in.The comment was not made to the thin men who were also eating, I left that job in 1993 and still remember it.

People want permission to eat Cocoa Puffs, they don’t want to be judged. Especially people who are overweight and insulin resistant (or worse) because their system creates an addictive compulsion to eat. They want to be told it is ok and it doesn’t matter. They don’t understand that sugar triggers the compulsion. The people who are metabolically healthy do not understand the appeal or the compulsion, any more than someone who dislikes gambling can understand that compulsion.

I do think that health care does judge fat people differently and we all know examples. My favorite is when fat doctors do. That does have to change no matter what you eat. However, the nutrition information that doctors provide has to improve

Yes fat people should not be shamed. Yes fat is the last accepted prejudice because conventional perception is that it is usually “the fat person’s fault” Too many people still think T2 is caused by being overweight rather than being overweight is a symptom of IR which leads to Pre T2 and possibly T2. Since the cause is misunderstood, the treatment goes off the rails. Especially when you factor in TOFIs, what are they supposed to do?

The anti diet movement may be part of an anorexic’s treatment but they have a different problem than someone who weighs 300 lbs. It is like treating T1s and T2s the same. They are different diseases.

The reality is that the insulin response to carbs triggers the desire to eat and not enough people realize that. I did watch Oprah’s show on the injectables and what I loved was her realization that it did not matter what diet she was on, prior to the injectable most foods made her crave more but this is not universally true. As she said, the people who are not heavy are not that way out of will power but because they do not have the same compulsion to eat. She claims she never knew that until the injectable took away her compulsion. People who are metabolically healthy do not have those cravings. Even if they love ice cream or chocolate cake, eating a slice or bowl every once in awhile is not the problem, they eat the cake and are satisfied. As opposed to the metabolically unhealthy who eat the chocolate cake which then makes you want the ice cream and the takeout pizza afterward.

Most dieters do regain within 5 years. I have gained and lost the same 50 lbs 3x since 2009 and it is frustrating. Thank you set point. Most diets work for me for around 6 months and then I stop losing. I am at that stage now (with another 50 to lose that seems to never happen) with time restricted eating (don’t eat past 6 most days and exercise). I can accept that I will never be a size 4 and healthy at the same time. Dieting, changing your way of eating, restricting only works up to a point for most people. Every time a diet fails or stalls, the person gets frustrated but most the time it is set point science not the fault of the person. The simple answer is that conventional diet advice is a disaster. I don’t consider gastric bypass or injectables that answer for me.

In this respect all of the Anti Fat Shaming movements are a good thing. However they fail because they treat fat as unavoidable in the young. TBH, for the 50 year old in the story, whose body has gotten used to 300 lbs, it probably is unless she radically changes her diet. However, for the 15 year old who is slightly overweight, it is not. However telling them high sugar cereals are ok is not the way to protect their future health as we all know. We can debate with the rest of the world whether that 15 year old would be better off eating strawberries, steaks, eggs or beans or multigrain toast or tofu, but shopping in the center of the supermarket, no.

I was a thin kid until puberty. If I could go back to my 15 year old self, who was already dieting, I would encourage her to eat a balanced diet, the meat and potatoes of my grandmother, while limiting sugar to special occasions. I also would tell her not to use food as entertainment but to eat when she was hungry. I would like to think I would never have gained in the same way but it may be wishful thinking. The problem is that kid grew up on sugared cereal, devil dogs, pasta and pizza and CICO. I disliked meat except for hamburgers and breaded chicken. When I did CICOs, I still ate pasta and bread, so I wanted more, always. I have tried every diet in creation. When we cleaned out our spare room 25 years ago for our new baby, I think we threw out 30 diet books (including Atkins). Limiting carbs is the only thing that works for me, but only up to a point. Still it is better than eating crap

As for intuitive eating, I tried that, my intuition led me to eat pizza, pasta, cake, pies and sometimes sugar cubes. I guess my body was deprived of sugar and that is why I needed to eat it

(Bob M) #18

The ideas of moderation and that all food is the same - the only thing that matters is calories – are what big food likes. But neither of those is true. Moderation works for almost no one, and the impact of 6 ounces of beef is completely different from the same calories of potato chips or tortilla chips or ice cream or cookies.

(Edith) #19

The bigger problem here is that the foods manufactured by “Big Food” have been chemically designed to hijack our brains. They use flavoring and even fortification to make our bodies think they are getting foods they are not. When our body eats something that tastes like strawberry but doesn’t get the nutrients it was expecting from a strawberry, it wants more. If I get some niacin from a piece of toast or a breakfast cereal, maybe that prevents my body from wanting to eat some beef which is a superior source for all the B-vitamins.

Yes, I agree that there are some people who naturally have brakes where food is concerned and others who don’t, but… if there was no frankenfood out there, I doubt even those who naturally tend to eat more would get as large as people are getting today. I think we can put all the blame for that on the food industry and its chemically engineered foods.

Cake, cookies, cereal, Doritos. They are all delicious. Who wouldn’t want to be told they could eat all that deliciousness and not have any consequences. “Tell me what I want to hear, and I will believe it.” That is what the food industry is doing and they are using the legitimacy/authority of dieticians to do it. Those dieticians are selling their souls, and people are buying in to it because that is what they want to hear.

(KM) #20

Big food is making this about the sanctity of personal choice and the inappropriateness of shaming. Both of which are just fine to defend / protest. But they’re doing just what I’ve seen over and over. They’re manipulating the frame. Claiming that being told not to eat X is an assault on personal liberty and self esteem, and that this is the issue, when the issue is that X is an assault on health. Much like big tobacco, the first page of the playbook was claiming it wasn’t, or that there wasn’t enough evidence to call it. That’s not working, so on to the next page, bury that part and make it about group identity and persecution.