Posted by Anne Landman on February 19, 2010

soda bottleManufacturers of sugar-laden drinks are adopting Big Tobacco's public relations strategies in response to government proposals to tax soda and sugary drinks. They are claiming their products are wholesome or harmless at worst, sowing doubt about whether their products are really related to the country's obesity problem (even when there is no longer doubt that they are), marketing heavily to children, funding front groups to oppose the taxes, and trying to take attention away from their products by focusing arguments on other topics, like individual responsibility and the totality of the diet. They are also employing spokespeople who are well-versed in tobacco industry strategies. Derek Yach, now senior vice president of global health policy at Pepsico, used to work for the World Health Organization developing the WHO's Tobacco-Free Initiative. Speaking on behalf of Pepsico, Yach applies the tobacco industry strategy of linking the originally-proposed action to a fear-inducing outcome (also known as Philip Morris' "Bigger Monster" strategy): Yach argues that "Simply pricing one product higher would lead to unknown effects on total dietary consumption. It may even lead to worse situations: people may stop spending on one food to eat more of another, so taxing high levels of sugar may lead to eating higher levels of fat."

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Comments

Sugar is clearly a big problem in the modern diet, as the dentist, Dr. Weston Price (www.ppnf.org) showed as early as 1936. Fructose doesn't stimulate insulin production, but instead goes directly to the liver to be turned into FAT in the form of triglycerides. It is interesting to note that the obesity epidemic parallels the increasing use of high fructose corn syrup.

Eating lots of fat and even cholesterol is no problem if you don't also eat more than a tiny amount of sugar and other carbohydrates. If that surprises you, you haven't read Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories", For a free introduction to his carefully researched book, look up his hour long video talking to folks at UC Berkeley more than a year ago. He shows that the low fat diet advice offered by doctors and others for decades is exactly wrong, and exacerbates the obesity problem world wide.

It is indeed true that sugar can also disrupt the diet of a person. Increasing the tax and price for it may pose a significant change in our market which may prove to be detrimental since a lot of products uses glucose or sugar.

Using products that are sugar-sweetened is very unhealthy.
This kind of products can make people, and especially children,
develop diabetes and obesity problems. In fact it has been
proven that in the last 30 years more and more people that
developed these illnesses because of the increasing amount
of sugar in the whole food industry.

Mark Clutter

Bill Moyers presents "United States of ALEC," a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of -- ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.