Junk Food Industry Applies Tobacco's PR Strategies

The $70 billion Australian junk food industry is now applying PR strategies originally developed by the tobacco industry in a bid to avoid government regulation. Australia's federal government is readying a report about reducing obesity, which could lead to higher taxes on unhealthy foods and a ban on junk food advertising. In anticipation, junk and snack food companies are playing down the health risks of their products, adopting voluntary advertising codes, producing "healthier" smaller and lower-sugar versions of candies and chocolate bars, arranging for food industry representatives to sit on regulatory boards, and funding educational programs to try to look like good corporate citizens. For example, McDonald's started providing free online math tutorials for children, similar to cigarette companies' youth education and prevention programs, launched to blunt the push for regulation. One leading health source noticed the resemblance between the food industry's tactics to those employed by Big Tobacco: ''Deny the evidence, delay, infiltrate yourself into governments, have big lobbying outfits, work through voluntary codes. It's the same techniques."


The truly sad thing about this is that Australia's antiobesity campaign is really backed by Pharma to sell more pills. And so called progressives do nothing to investigate or challenge it. If they really cared about health, they would not single out fat people (who can be just as healthy as anyone else), but emphasize that it is a nutritional crisis that can affect everyone whether they gain weight or not. Pharma's real purpose is to put so much shame and focus on fat people, they will run to the dangerous diet products. That is why in the U.S. the makers of fen-phen sponsored Koop's Shape Up America and cut funding when the dangers came out. They hide behind a message of diet and exercise knowing beyond a doubt lifestyle is only one factor in weight. Not only did this moral harping fail to reduce obesity, it killed and mained many otherwise healthy fat women. Very sad the left is so intent on demonizing big food it doesn't care about casulties. Kind of like the right and saving souls!

p.s. According to Australian newspapers Australia is now the world's fattest nation. Which is interesting because their longevity is second only to Japan!!!

It makes no sense to pretend that the anti-obesity campaign in Australia is backed by big Pharma. Australia has no anti-obesity drugs on its Register of Therapeutic Goods and no candidate drugs in the pipeline either.
From the pharmaceutical industry's viewpoint Australia's expanding wasteline is good for business as the blood pressure, heart failure and diabetes drugs all have booming sales due to it. It would actually be in the drug companies' financial interest to promote obesity not to oppose it.

I'm just skeptical about two things 1. Taxes being the answer 2. The effectiveness of warning labels.

Does anyone really think they are eating something healthy when they eat a candy bar or potato chips? Just not sure if a "warning label" would really change behavior.

Inspite of the warnings and the labels, the fact remains that it is junk food and that people eating it could be on their way to being obese.
Firms need to be held to account for their actions and inactions their stakeholders (employees, customers, communities, NGOs and shareholders).
Yet most corporations have neither the governance structure nor the systems to handle these conflicting demands.
The IMD OWP 2010 addresses these challenges.

There have never been so many obese people all over the world and the main cause for this situation is the "affordable" junk food. The truth is that those who cook it don't care much about the consumer's health, they care only about their profits. It's a surprise for me to hear that some of them start to show interest in health programs, but i don't buy it, if they really want to make a difference they should change their food, because that's the problem. There are thousands people out there following weight loss programs, struggling to lose the weight gained by consuming junk food, they deserve a real change coming from this industry.