Author Michael Moss, on page 140 of his book ‘Hooked’, names Northeastern University in Boston, led by Professor Richard Daynard of their Law Faculty for instructing his students to create a database which tracked lawsuits brought by injured smokers. Their database was the basis of research which linked lung cancer to the smoking habit. They would use their data to demonstrate this link at conferences and support attorneys who required definitive evidence to make their case. When the long case against the tobacco giants was settled in 1998, $200 billion was required by them to be paid to the states where their health provision had been impacted by high costs of treating lung disease due to smoking.
Tobacco giants like Philip Morris bought into the food industry, understanding the process of addiction which had generated so many billions of dollars to their companies.
A nutritionist, Marion Nestle, who, Michael Moss tells us was ‘one of the first scholars to argue that the food industry should attract the same kind of scrutiny as the makers of drugs and tobacco’, persuaded the same Law Faculty, led by Richard Daynard, to now take on those companies who make addictive Ultra Processed Foods.
Covid has highlighted the vulnerabilities of people around the world who have become addicted to Ultra Processed Foods. It is not for them to just stop. As with all addictions, it is now becoming a serious topic of research in countries where so many have died of Covid because they suffered underlying ill health caused by poor diet. They did not have sufficient nutrition to help their body fight the disease. Disordered eating has become commonplace. But people look for cheapness, availability and speed of delivery of food to stomach. The food industry makes billions out of ensuring these temptations are in plain sight on ultra processed food presentation to the gullible.
The lobbying of the above NRA in various states in the US in the early 2000s, led to an element of legal protection for food services to not be questioned about the possible links to human obesity. (Commonsense Consumption Act – sometimes referred to as the “cheeseburger bill”, wording drawn up by Meersman of the Colorado Restaurant Association, was passed into law and copied by twenty six states, to protect the corporates from public scrutiny)
Dana Small has conducted some ingenious experiments to understand the evolution of the human body as it learned to acquire fuel, in the form of calories from ancient to present time. When we first foraged for food, we worked hard, chewed hard on roots and tough plants to gain enough calories to give us energy for the search for more fuel, until we had sufficient to rest but stay alert to dangers.
As we learned how to use stones as tools to beat hard foods to pulp, this made chewing easier and helped our digestion. When we learned about fire we could cook foods and widen our range to include meat and fish. We have been active humans for most of our existence, only resting for short periods whilst most of the time was spent using up calories exercising in our work around procuring food and shelter.
Michael Moss covers research Dana Small carried out for PepsiCo, and in 2014 she was terminated from pursuing her interesting findings. One of the executive directors in charge of nutrition said of Dana Small that ‘she was dangerous’, implying her work posed a threat to the high calorie beverage industry
Nowadays, many populations have food to hand in shops or markets. We are not all active, but we can buy in high calorie food and drink and consume it whilst inactive, relaxing watching some form of entertainment. Our bodies still have the process for calculating calorie intake but Dana Small has learned about modern foods and how these have confused our neurological and gut processes. Dana Small has stated, “It’s not so much that people can become addicted to food. It’s that the food has changed, and it is mismatched to us”. She had called this the Mismatch Index.
This 2020 YouTube provides advice on how to eat healthily, lose weight with care, and avoid diseases through understanding the relationship with appropriate food for wellbeing.