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Sun Oct 25, 2015, 07:35 AM

article: " No wonder Oprah is buying into weight loss: corporations profit from our flesh"

It’s much easier to lecture individuals about their eating habits than it is to take on the food giants that work against our efforts toward health

First, the terrible prejudice faced by overweight and obese people. Second, the ways in which corporations are responsible for the obesity crisis in many western societies. These companies, both those that sell us overprocessed and sugary foods and those making huge amounts of money out of people trying to lose weight, are literally making a profit on our flesh.

A recent study published in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice brought startling new findings to light. In 2006, a person who ate a given daily number of calories and expended a given number of daily calories through exercise was likely to have a body mass index 2.3 points higher than someone taking in and expending the same number of calories in 1988.

a recent article in the Atlantic speculates that three separate factors may be at play: an increase in our exposure to chemicals, such as flame retardants, that may cause weight gain; the growing prescription of pills such as antidepressants, which may have the same effect; and, most intriguingly, a change in the number or type of “microbiomes” present in our guts. It is possible, posits Professor Jennifer Kuk in the Atlantic article, that this last item might be traced back to what food itself consumes: “hormones and antibiotics to promote growth” most obviously in the case of the US.

Huge power rests with the multinational corporations that produce our food, medicine and consumer goods. But increasingly, I fear that western governments find it easier to lecture individual citizens about their eating habits than to take on a food industry, and its lobbying power, that works against our efforts towards health every step of the way.


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