The New Drug The introduction of prohibition in the United States meant people could not manufacture or consume alcohol. Alcohol was banned by the government for obvious reasons, alcohol harms the body. Use of drugs without prescription is illegal and harms one’s health. Junk foods and soda pop are harmful as well. Yet we have never had prohibition on these food and soda items even though these food items affect public health.
According to Yale University professor of psychology and public health, Kelly Brownell, “As a culture, we’ve become upset by the tobacco companies advertising to children, but we sit idly by while the food companies do the very same thing. And we could make a claim that the toll taken on the public health by a poor diet rivals that taken by tobacco”. In the year 1999, a meeting took place at the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury. The guest list of the meeting included CEO’s and presidents of America’s largest food companies like Nestle, Kraft, Nabisco, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars.
The CEO’s and company presidents came together to discuss the issue of America’s emerging obesity problem and how to deal with the problem. They came to a conclusion that people were blaming their products for the obesity epidemic in the country. The salt, sugar and fat content in their products were way too high and were causing Obesity-related conditions like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. These conditions are some of the leading causes of preventable death.
According to the article, “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food” in the New York Times, “More than half of American adults were now considered overweight, with nearly one-quarter of the adult population — 40 million people — clinically defined as obese. Among children, the rates had more than doubled since 1980, and the number of kids considered obese had shot past 12 million”. The presidents were not able to come to a conclusion and some of them were not ready to change the formula of their products.
Instead head of general mills, Stephen Sanger was caught quoting, “Don’t talk to me about nutrition, Talk to me about taste, and if this stuff tastes better, don’t run around trying to sell stuff that doesn’t taste good. ” That meeting took place in 1999, now the obesity population has grown even more. According to the 2011 data of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “More than one-third of U. S. adults (35. 7%) are obese, approximately 17% (or 12. million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled”. This is a serious problem for the nation as a whole. The obesity rate is increasing at an alarming rate, the consumers should realize that these food products is not good for them. The companies have a moral obligation to provide foods that are healthier, food that contains less salt, sugar and fat.
The companies are entitled to profits but they should not earn those profits at the expenses of the consumers. Works cited http://www. cdc. gov/obesity/data/adult. html http://www. nytimes. com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food. html? pagewanted=all#2 http://www. preventioninstitute. org/focus-areas/supporting-healthy-food-a-activity/supporting-healthy-food-and-activity-environments-advocacy/get-involved-were-not-buying-it/735-were-not-buying-it-the-facts-on-junk-food-marketing-and-kids. html