Junk Food

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The New Drug

The introduction of prohibition in the United States meant people could not manufacture or consume alcohol. Alcohol was banned by the government for obvious reasons, alcohol harms the body. Use of drugs without prescription is illegal and harms one’s health. Junk foods and soda pop are harmful as well. Yet we have never had prohibition on these food and soda items even though these food items affect public health. According to Yale University professor of psychology and public health, Kelly Brownell, “As a culture, we’ve become upset by the tobacco companies advertising to children, but we sit idly by while the food companies do the very same thing. And we could make a claim that the toll taken on the public health by a poor diet rivals that taken by tobacco”. In the year 1999, a meeting took place at the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury. The guest list of the meeting included CEO’s and presidents of America’s largest food companies like Nestlé, Kraft, Nabisco, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. The CEO’s and company presidents came together to discuss the issue of America’s emerging obesity problem and how to deal with the problem. They came to a conclusion that people were blaming their products for the obesity epidemic in the country. The salt, sugar and fat content in their products were way too high and were causing Obesity-related conditions like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. These conditions are some of the leading causes of preventable death. According to the article, “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food” in the New York Times, “More than half of American adults were now considered overweight, with nearly one-quarter of the adult population — 40 million people — clinically defined as obese. Among children, the rates had more than doubled since 1980, and the number of kids considered obese had shot past 12 million”. The presidents were not able to come to a...
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