Home > Uncategorized > “The Men Who Made Us Fat”

“The Men Who Made Us Fat”

The BBC documentary with this title which was broadcast in 3 episodes was the most “life style” changing TV I’ve ever seen.  The 3rd and final episode was delayed broadcast until this week due to Wimbledon and is still available on the iPlayer till Thursday: http://goo.gl/F8QE  Although it’s only 1 episode and not the full story, it is still worth watching.

The incentive to blog about this is because of the really depressing interview towards the end with the UK Government Minister with the relevant responsibility in this area.

The whole thrust of the programme is about how the “Food Industry” in, particularly, the UK and the US have maximised profits (as all good businesses should) by selling us, not only MORE food, but more unhealthy food to the serious detriment of our health. 

The programme is full of some very revealing examples of “clever marketing” and mis-direction, as well as, more worryingly, repression of warnings from the health and science fields. The documentary successfully makes the argument, IMHO, that because of it’s wealth and influence, the “Food Industry” has managed to prevent legislation that in any way hinders it. Not only that, but it has successfully silenced, or at least muted, any opposite voice. Until this documentary, that is.

The current argument put forward by the “Food Industry” and echoed (I chose this word carefully) by Government is that it is up to the individual to “control” his/her “input”.  The documentary successfully demonstrates that this is clearly not enough.

The analogy of the tobacco industry is appropriate here; would we be where we are in respect of the current smoking/health balance without legislation. The big difference is, however, that we can live without smoking, but we all have to eat.  It is possible that obesity will, if unchecked, be a much greater problem than smoking related diseases and be a much bigger burden financially on us all. 

What is clear and the documentary makes clear too, is that the Industries aren’t doing anything wrong; they’re doing what their shareholders insist on.

So, back to what made me so depressed about the interview with the Government Minister was her single-minded assertion that legislation was not required. She would not even consider any argument put to her. It sadly reinforced my view that big business rules. It certainly is not our elected “representatives”.

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