She’s smart. She represents the future of the influential
food and health voices in America. …And she says this is your
fault. So [I asked] where’d you get this idea? She goes, ‘Oh, well
I got all this from Michael Pollan.’ …He’s most famous for this
book: The Omnivore’s Dilemma. And this is the book that really kicked off this whole idea that it’s the food industry that’s
making us sick and fat.”
“Michael Pollan is not the only [author] who has had something to say on this subject.
Michael Moss really upped the bar and showed how this is
your fault. …Your industry, along with the food manufacturers,
has in fact conspired to stuff food with fat, sugar and salt — to
addict the American public to unhealthy foods. You’re fattening them up on purpose because you know it’s addictive.
He [Michael Moss] was asked: What if the industry does
bring out healthier options? Isn’t the industry trying? Don’t
they have some healthier foods now? And he said yeah, and
that’s good for their bottom line. They make money on this.
But it’s not going to help us lose weight.
…This is idiotic. He writes a best-selling book [Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us] saying that you
guys have loaded your food with fat and sugar to addict the
American public. And when you try to lower it, he says it’s
just another trick. What are you supposed to do to make
these people happy?”
“Let’s think to 60 years ago, to the beginning of the anti-smoking
crusades [in 1952]. Six years later in 1958, Gallup took a poll and
asked the American public, ‘Do you believe there’s a link between smoking and lung cancer?’ More than half of the American public said no. In 1968, one-third of the American public
still didn’t believe the link.
The point is this takes time. Our fight against the obesity
crisis is actually very young. It really is only a decade old, and
we’ve only really been fighting it for five years. And we haven’t
done it with a real clear voice.”
“You can’t do this overnight. I’m not saying clear your shelves of
the foods that right now your customers are buying and switch
them all for these healthier options as they become available.
That actually won’t work. Your customers aren’t ready.
On the other hand, it will be a real problem for you if you
wait too long to do this. Timing is everything. Because if you
wait too long, when the American public gets it, when your
customers start to understand this and they think, ‘yes I am
ready for healthier food options now,’ they won’t turn to you
for those options.”
ABOUT THE OPENING
GENERAL SESSION SPEAKER
David H. Freedman is a contributing editor at The Atlantic
and at Inc. Magazine, a contributor to Scientific American
and a consulting editor for Johns Hopkins Medicine
International. He is the author of five books, the most
recent being WRONG, about the problems with the published findings of medical scientists and other experts.
Much of his current work is related to the roles of policy,
industry and journalism in addressing obesity, nutrition
and health-related behavioral change. For more on his
thoughts around obesity and our industry read the July
issue cover story, “A Healthy Misperception.”
WHAT’S HEALTHY EATING?
DON’T WE ALL KNOW?”