The Three Myths of the Food Industry

  • Saturday, 03/10/2018: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Room: Marriott, Platinum Ballroom 2


The epidemic of non-communicable diseases (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) is a worldwide problem. We need to reallocate resources – but what are the best ways to tackle NCDs? There are three myths being promulgated by the food industry for their own purposes – they sound correct, but all three fall apart when you examine the data. 

Myth 1: It’s about obesity. The standard mantra is that the epidemic is driven by ‘calories in, calories out’: it isn’t. Instead, it is about all the chronic metabolic conditions that go into NCDs, which can occur even in normal-weight people.

Myth 2: A calorie is a calorie.  But where those calories come from has everything to do with how we metabolize them – and this in turn has everything to do with the diseases that follow on. Nutritional biochemistry explains that the food quality is more important than the food quantity. 

Myth 3: It’s about personal responsibility. There are four caveats to personal responsibility: You have to have knowledge, but we are being kept from knowing what we are eating. You have to have access to healthier products. Many Americans do not. You have to be able to afford your choice – and society, too, has to be able to afford your choice. And your choice must not harm anyone else – yet if I eat badly then it can affect you.  

The food industry is in business to make money. But currently the industry is making money by hurting people – this is what tobacco did, and we took the industry on. We need to get the food industry to capitulate to change the food supply as a public health strategy.