Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Corrupt capitalism ... Profiting from Making People Fat!

Recent posts have raised the issue of the corrosive and corrupt nature of capitalism (involving the control of money and power). 

This post continues on this theme ... by focusing on how food corporations are deliberately poisoning and deceiving people ... and all in the pursuit of profit!

For decades food corporations have been heavily pressurizing and lobbying Governments ... to get their way, and to ensure they avoid any barriers (i.e. regulations) that would limit their ability to profit. 

And their route to more profits has not been to offer better/ healthier foods ... but to cut costs and find ways to make people consume more ... 

Over the last two decades scientists were starting to raise concerns about obesity and looking at the reasons people become fat (e.g. fat intake, sugar intake, exercise), but under significant pressure/lobbying from food corporations the focus of attention was pushed away from sugar intake and onto to lack of exercise and the levels/types of fat in diets ... with any scientific funding investigating the impact of sugar on obesity increasingly switched off!

The food industry
(particularly the sugar/corn companies) did this as, following their creation/manufacture of High Fructose Corn Syrup (nb basically a very cheap type of sugar, containing a glucose/fructose mix), they saw a great opportunity in the marketing of "low fat" products packed full of ultra cheap (and sweet) High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) ... and selling it for a premium! 

Fructose started to enter the food chain in massive quantities for the first time ... and it is now in the vast majority of processed foods (as a sweetener, preservative and/or browning agent). In fact it's hard to find foods without large doses of it now (e.g. the vast majority of processed foods, breads, sauces, drinks etc etc)!

... and consuming large volumes of fructose turns out to be a huge problem ... for two fundamental reasons:

1. Fructose is 'processed' by the body in a completely differently way to other carbohydrates ... unlike glucose, fructose cannot be metabolised directly by cells and it all has to be broken down by the liver (nb where poisons are processed). The process of transformation in the liver involves fructose being turned into uric acid, but also into dangerous fats which enter the bloodstream and get deposited around the body (nb additional chemicals created from breaking down fructose also enhance/accelerate this whole process further)! So 'low fat' (and highly processed) foods containing fructose are actually a way of pumping the body full of fat ... i.e. people are being duped into a terrible form of 'high fat' diet (i.e. that creates high levels of body fat) ... and are not on a 'low fat' diet at all ... and as all the advertising around it might suggest!

2. This first problem is further exacerbated by yet another fundamental problem with fructose ... the fact that the consumption of fructose does not surpress ghrelin (i.e. the hunger hormone generated by the stomach) and it doesn't stimulate insulin or leptin (i.e. the hormone that tells the brain that your body is already metabolising food, in order to surpress further intake) ... so people still feel hungry and continue to eat!

Fructose delivered to the food industry the perfect solution ... a way of making people feel continually hungry so they'll consume more ... and all under the 'banner' of healthy 'low fat' foods! 'Low fat' foods are mostly full of cheap sweet fructose, as it's used to replace all the taste lost from removing the fat (nb food tastes like cardboard without it)! You couldn't make this stuff up ... and yet it's all true (e.g. take a look at the video below from a world leading endocrinologist who attempts to explains it all ... including the biochemistry)!

Fructose has successfully generated the profits the food industry were looking for (alongside a strategy of 'super-sizing' portion sizes). Fructose is effectively a poison (processed by the liver) which has created a multitude of detrimental effects on the body including those relating to obesity (e.g. high blood pressure, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes ...) with all the consequences to public health and well-being. And the solution ... well most of the food industry are still arguing obesity is a result of lifestyle (e.g. the lack of exercise) ... and people's personal decisions (i.e. not a particular type of food) ... whilst others have made a fortune selling people 'slimming' products ... and by creating 'yo-yo' dieting!

Sporting events, such as Euro 2012 and the London 2012 Olympics Games, are also currently swamped with advertising from companies like McDonald's, Mars and Coca-Cola ... as they try desperately to link themselves to healthy activities ... when they could not be further from the truth ... e.g. Coca-Cola also contains caffeine, an addictive drug and diuretic (makes you lose water) ... which makes you feel more thirsty ... and it's also packed full of fructose (just like McDonald's meals and Mars bars!), which fills you full of calories (and increases your body fat) ... and makes you feel more hungry!

The tobacco industry is heavily taxed, banned from mainstream advertising, and surrounded by numerous health warnings ... and fructose will eventually have the same! But just like the tobacco industry ... the food industry is using all its power to stop this from happening ... and is currently succeeding!

The problem in the case of the food industry is that the Government is not just heavily lobbied ... it also 'benefits' from all the jobs created as a result of all this over consumption too (e.g. the food industry, packaging and distribution industries, supermarkets, fast-food chains, pubs, clubs and restaurants ...) ... and hence are reluctant to do anything about it ... and this will continue until the 'costs' of obesity far outweigh all the jobs involved in creating it ... or until there's a sufficient public outcry!

Morals don't come into it ... in free market capitalism its all about profit, and the food, retail, distribution and healthcare industries are all effectively 'profiting' from obesity ... and they will not cut off these profitable revenue streams out of choice ... so ordinary people are going to have to stand up against this themselves ... by boycotting these 'poisons' ... and by creating a public outcry to force the Government to do something about it!