Food industry "profoundly irresponsible"...

lostzombies.com

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http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/food-drink/doctor-calls-urgent-action-salt-fats-food-article-huib.html

One of Britain's top doctors has accused the food industry of being "profoundly irresponsible" for adding unhealthy amounts of fat and salt to its products.

Lindsey Davies, the new president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, wants ministers to bring in legal minimum health standards for food if manufacturers do not undertake dramatic action to strip out harmful ingredients such as transfats and excess salt. Both are added during production and have been implicated in causing tens of thousands of deaths a year through strokes and heart attacks.

"The food industry should be about producing food, and food is a basic requirement of a healthy, productive life and wellbeing. Adding things to food that reduce health and wellbeing, such as transfats or too much salt, strikes me as profoundly irresponsible," said Davies, who represents 3,500 public health doctors in the NHS, local government and academia. "Overall, I think it is profoundly disappointing that the food industry hasn't taken its responsibilities more seriously."

The links between unhealthy food and conditions such as heart disease, strokes, obesity and some cancers mean action is urgently needed, Davies added. Drink-driving laws, the ban on smoking in public places and the compulsory wearing of seatbelts show that the government sometimes has to intervene in order to protect people from health harms, she said.

While some supermarkets have made commendable progress in improving product recipes to make them healthier, too many have done too little, Davies said. New laws to ban unhealthily high levels of salt, transfats and saturated fats would be necessary without major progress by industry, she added.

It was "very odd" that there are not already legal health and safety standards for food, she said. "Unhealthy food is a major health problem in this country," Davies said.

The Food and Drink Federation, which represents major producers and retailers, hit back. Barbara Gallani, its director of food safety and science, said Davies was "out of touch with what the industry has been achieving" in terms of reformulation. For example, transfats have been virtually eliminated and some firms have cut the amount of salt in products such as soups, cereals, biscuits and cakes, in some cases by up to 50%, in the last five years, said Gallani. Such a move would also deny consumers choice in their eating habits, she added.

The Food Standards Agency advises adults not to consume more than 6g of salt a day. Average intake fell from 9.5g to 8.6g between 2000 and 2008, an FSA spokesman said. Intake of transfats ? manmade substances used to bulk out food or give it a longer shelf-life ? is about 1% of total food energy intake, about half of what the World Health Organisation recommends, he added.

Senior doctors backed Davies's call. Steve Field, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Ready meals are a particular problem for both salt and transfats. Manufacturers should look at themselves in the mirror and realise the harms they are doing to other human beings." Terence Stephenson, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "Given that one-third of our children are overweight or obese, tackling our unhealthy food culture is vital. Food advertising should be restricted, planning controls used to limit fast-food premises near places where young people congregate and the price of food examined to find ways to make healthier products more affordable."

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Now, I'm sorry but IMO this is just arse slappingly insane. Food companiess aslong as thye are not putting posion in their food have NO OBLIGATION on how much someone eats their food. The only irresonsible person in the the whole equation is the person who gets the food:exercise ratio wrong.

Are we going to see manufactures of belt sanders being fined because littly tommy put his face on the belt sander? Hardware stores being shutdown because Jimmy John Jack Jr hammered a nail through his groin?

I don't see by ANY stretch of the imagination how someone can blame the food industry fpr people being fat. Personal choice is the only reason why people are fat/thin. When the day comes when food companies sit you down and force you to eat their food, fine, call the waaambulance, but right now? Fuck off.

/endrant

thoughts?
 

Breaker deGodot

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There's an interesting conundrum;
Who's a bigger dumbass; the person who makes the food, or the person who eats it?
 

Enigmers

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I think the responsibility is on the consumer, as long as there are healthy alternatives. The only time when the food industry is to blame is when there are no healthy foods conveniently available, not when the consumer chooses to make terrible choices.
 

Muramasa89

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lostzombies.com said:
Now, I'm sorry but IMO this is just arse slappingly insane. Food companiess aslong as thye are not putting posion in their food have NO OBLIGATION on how much someone eats their food. The only irresonsible person in the the whole equation is the person who gets the food:exercise ratio wrong.
The food:exercise ratio isn't the problem. People don't read labels, don't know what stuff is unhealthy (companies hide what things really are with other names: such as 'Genetically Engineered Meat' (also has other names)), and people are fuck lazy. Lazy people + fat food = fat people. It IS the companies fault since they're knowingly selling health problems to people, playing on the fact a lot of us don't have the time to make a home-made meal and most aren't educated in what causes problems in food.

I don't see by ANY stretch of the imagination how someone can blame the food industry fpr people being fat. Personal choice is the only reason why people are fat/thin. When the day comes when food companies sit you down and force you to eat their food, fine, call the waaambulance, but right now? Fuck off.
Then you miss the picture. Go to your local Iceland. Mine would be a perfect example, but every fucking isle is loaded with cheap shit, and if you bother to read the labels and ingredients in particular the quick/ready meals, you'll notice people don't have much of a choice in food selection (apart from 'Chicken Korma or Vindaloo???')
 

Dags90

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First, most superficial though:
Are we going to see manufactures of belt sanders being fined because littly tommy put his face on the belt sander? Hardware stores being shutdown because Jimmy John Jack Jr hammered a nail through his groin?
This analogy is entirely inaccurate and therefor ineffective. Those aren't marketed uses of those things. Food and drinks only have one marketed use, consumption (maybe housecleaning). That said, belt sanders do come with whole packets of information on how to use it correctly, so people won't hurt themselves by using it incorrectly.

The U.S. and the U.K. both have precedent of the government forcing social responsibility onto companies and citizens. Frankly, I'm inclined to agree with compulsory seat belt laws and compulsory seat belts manufacturer side. I'd be more inclined to heavy taxation (both consumer and corporate side) for unhealthy foods, and more robust food labeling. Nutritional info should be on the front of all packaging, with the calories, salt, fats, and sugars in big bold letters. You want to be fat or help to make more people fat? Go ahead, but you will pay for their diabetes medication.
 

tomvw

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Muramasa89 said:
lostzombies.com said:
Now, I'm sorry but IMO this is just arse slappingly insane. Food companiess aslong as thye are not putting posion in their food have NO OBLIGATION on how much someone eats their food. The only irresonsible person in the the whole equation is the person who gets the food:exercise ratio wrong.
The food:exercise ratio isn't the problem. People don't read labels, don't know what stuff is unhealthy (companies hide what things really are with other names: such as 'Genetically Engineered Meat' (also has other names)), and people are fuck lazy. Lazy people + fat food = fat people. It IS the companies fault since they're knowingly selling health problems to people, playing on the fact a lot of us don't have the time to make a home-made meal and most aren't educated in what causes problems in food.

I don't see by ANY stretch of the imagination how someone can blame the food industry fpr people being fat. Personal choice is the only reason why people are fat/thin. When the day comes when food companies sit you down and force you to eat their food, fine, call the waaambulance, but right now? Fuck off.
Then you miss the picture. Go to your local Iceland. Mine would be a perfect example, but every fucking isle is loaded with cheap shit, and if you bother to read the labels and ingredients in particular the quick/ready meals, you'll notice people don't have much of a choice in food selection (apart from 'Chicken Korma or Vindaloo???')
I agree with you that we do need clearer and more readable labels on food (like a standard-label or something). But in the end, people still choose what they eat, if you decide to buy a ready-made meal, you should know it's not the healthiest food around.
 

Gunner_Guardian

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Some incentives would be nice to get people and/or companies to turn to more healthy foods but the question is what incentives should we use?

I vote for better labeling on everything, maybe a warning or something that a food is high in fat/salt/etc plus it would be nice if I could be warned if MSG is in a product, that substance gives me headaches if I eat too much of it, I find it extremely hard to dodge that chemical.

Minimum standards aren't going to do anything, all food companies will do is make sure they meet the minimum standard... but only just and it won't do anything.
 

dsmops2003

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Yes yes tell the fatties to stop eating the bad food. But what about the companies misleading consumers with underhanded advertising. Legally they can call something like yohgurt fat free or low fat but then dump a shit ton of sugar in it because it dosent affect the fat content. Thus defeating the reason someone picked the "low fat food" over the other. Also they will split portions up to rediculous sizes. For instance next time you pick up a bottle of Coke or whatever check the servings. A 20oz bottle like the ones found in vending machines are 2 servings.
 

Muramasa89

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tomvw said:
I agree with you that we do need clearer and more readable labels on food (like a standard-label or something). But in the end, people still choose what they eat, if you decide to buy a ready-made meal, you should know it's not the healthiest food around.
Problem being people don't know. They don't teach you it in school, least not unless you take Food Technology. And even so that's a more recent thing to be taught.
 

Muramasa89

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dsmops2003 said:
Yes yes tell the fatties to stop eating the bad food. But what about the companies misleading consumers with underhanded advertising. Legally they can call something like yohgurt fat free or low fat but then dump a shit ton of sugar in it because it dosent affect the fat content. Thus defeating the reason someone picked the "low fat food" over the other. Also they will split portions up to rediculous sizes. For instance next time you pick up a bottle of Coke or whatever check the servings. A 20oz bottle like the ones found in vending machines are 2 servings.
Very true.

Low fat yoghurt -> contains lots of sugar.
Low sugar yoghurt -> contains lots of fat.

BOTH are flavourings, and they're tasteless without them. That's why they keep one in there since you can't go selling food that tastes crap.

Did you know, if a product has "Sausage" written on it, it only has to legally contain 31% pork?
 

Sronpop

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I don't agree with the food companies being forced to lower the levels of certain contents in their food, but they should be actively trying to reduce that stuff. As far as consumers knowing what is in the food, I think what we have right now is not enough. If any law is to be passed it should be for making sure the salt/fat levels or whatever are very visible, Not just slightly visible on the back of the packet.

Its the same thing with cigarettes, they don't limit the tar or nicotine in them, but they have to display big health warning signs on the front(at least they do here). The only things that should be regulated as far as food go are the artificial ingredients which make the food more addictive(like in Pringles, they have an addictive ingredient in them, but it is limited by law).

But as far as forcing companies to lower salt/fat levels? No way, just make it clearer the consumer knows whats in it, and how healthy/unhealthy it is.
 

squid5580

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I think we need to make a choice here and now. Either we live our lives how we see fit or we let the government dictate how we should live. Either we are intelligent enough to make our own decisions and take responsibility for our own actions or we can live like it's 1984.
 

Zykon TheLich

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I quite like the idea, I'm far too lazy to go round working out which foods are healthier and what not, so if everyone is forced to lower salt and fat levels in their food I'd be quite happy. Making cheap food healthier is also an issue.
 

tomvw

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Muramasa89 said:
tomvw said:
I agree with you that we do need clearer and more readable labels on food (like a standard-label or something). But in the end, people still choose what they eat, if you decide to buy a ready-made meal, you should know it's not the healthiest food around.
Problem being people don't know. They don't teach you it in school, least not unless you take Food Technology. And even so that's a more recent thing to be taught.
Granted, some people may not know, but there's a vast majority that just can't be bothered to read the label. For example, I have a 500ml bottle of Cola here, and just by glancing at it, I can tell it's got about 30% sugar. If you can read, it's not that hard.
 

Muramasa89

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tomvw said:
Granted, some people may not know, but there's a vast majority that just can't be bothered to read the label. For example, I have a 500ml bottle of Cola here, and just by glancing at it, I can tell it's got about 30% sugar. If you can read, it's not that hard.
Cola is known to be unhealthy. And isn't food. The average person wouldn't know what was in said foods because companies purposely hide what is in there using different names, such as 'Genetically Engineered Meat'.

It sure sounds better than what it is: scraps from a chicken carcass, fat, sinew (from various animals too) compressed into the shape of a hotdog.

Edit: not specifically a hotdog. That's just an example.

Edit2: Cola is taught at a young age by parents that it's bad for you. "It'll rot your teeth!" You don't look at it and go "Oh, it's all sugar" because you know, it's because you've likely had it been said all your life, fizzy drinks are a popular hate group.

Now when you look at a ready meal - you don't think "Oh, it's all salt". Well that's what it is. Salt is the flavouring. Without it, it's utter shit in flavour.
 

tomvw

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Muramasa89 said:
tomvw said:
Granted, some people may not know, but there's a vast majority that just can't be bothered to read the label. For example, I have a 500ml bottle of Cola here, and just by glancing at it, I can tell it's got about 30% sugar. If you can read, it's not that hard.
Cola is known to be unhealthy. And isn't food. The average person wouldn't know what was in said foods because companies purposely hide what is in there using different names, such as 'Genetically Engineered Meat'.

It sure sounds better than what it is: scraps from a chicken carcass, fat, sinew (from various animals too) compressed into the shape of a hotdog.

Edit: not specifically a hotdog. That's just an example.

Edit2: Cola is taught at a young age by parents that it's bad for you. "It'll rot your teeth!" You don't look at it and go "Oh, it's all sugar" because you know, it's because you've likely had it been said all your life, fizzy drinks are a popular hate group.

Now when you look at a ready meal - you don't think "Oh, it's all salt". Well that's what it is. Salt is the flavouring. Without it, it's utter shit in flavour.
Alright, I'll admit that Cola might have been a bad example. But honestly, most of the food I've seen has a pretty clear mention of the fat-, sugar- and protein-percentages. And I've never seen anything with "Genetically Engineered Meat" in the ingredient list.
I do live in the EU, so it might have something to do with regulations on labeling.
 

Weaver

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I just wish healthy food was cheaper. The price of chicken in my city is fucking ludicrous, I could buy a prime steak for the price of two chicken breasts.
 

Muramasa89

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tomvw said:
Alright, I'll admit that Cola might have been a bad example. But honestly, most of the food I've seen has a pretty clear mention of the fat-, sugar- and protein-percentages. And I've never seen anything with "Genetically Engineered Meat" in the ingredient list.
I do live in the EU, so it might have something to do with regulations on labeling.
It's becomming more common in the years, the percentages, especially where I am in the UK, and even some ready meals are doing it (hurray! There's really no excuse that way to blame the Food Industry) but until it's compulsory to be on every product, people will be oblivious and can't be blamed. The government in the UK are making the percentage guideline more aware, which I feel a step forward. Companies shouldn't play on people's ignorance for a quick buck.

The 'Genetically Engineered Meat' in generally in tinned meats (i.e. hot dogs) and cheap burgers/sausages/chicken pieces (I can buy 60 burgers for £2. Great some might say, but it's not even real meat, and completely unhealthy for you).
 

BGH122

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lostzombies.com said:
Lindsey Davies, the new president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, wants ministers to bring in legal minimum health standards for food if manufacturers do not undertake dramatic action to strip out harmful ingredients such as transfats and excess salt. Both are added during production and have been implicated in causing tens of thousands of deaths a year through strokes and heart attacks.
See, I hate that. I'm currently studying to become a doctor and it just seems that by the time I actually get my MBBS the previous two generations of doctors will have run riot creating reams of laws which play nanny or surrogate mummy to every citizen in the UK. These doctors disgust me and are rapidly changing the public's perception of doctors as trustworthy and honest to the health police. Why can't doctors like this understand that the only value of medicine is to extend another individual's lifespan so that they can continue to enjoy their life? 'Enjoy their life' is the operative part of that sentence: there is no point in keeping the public optimally healthy but so devoid of liberty and happiness that they can't enjoy their good health.

Why on earth did retards like this woman even go into medicine? She needs to take a step back and realise that her own god-complex doesn't give her mandate to dictate everyone else's life.

Muramasa89 said:
until it's compulsory to be on every product, people will be oblivious and can't be blamed
This.

It's called empowering the consumer. The government should legislate so that the consumers can make their minds up without being tricked or robbed of essential information. The government should not be making the final decision for the consumer, they should be empowering the consumer to make that decision for themselves.