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Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back [Paperback]

Michele Simon
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Simon, a health policy expert and law professor, skewers the food industry for undermining the health of Americans with "nutrient deficient factory made pseudofoods." In lawyerly fashion, she explains the ABCs of the business imperative of "Big Food" (Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods and McDonald's, among many others): make short-term profit without regard to the product's nutritional value or societal effects. Permissible tactics, she says, include false advertising, sham "healthy" food initiatives and co-opting the government, press and academia. Simon also argues that food-industry advocates use front groups to attack critics and spread misinformation about nutritional needs. Simon also chastises her fellow food activists for applauding all "steps in the right direction," no matter how inadequate; the press for its passive publication of scientifically dubious industry statements; and the government for abandoning effective regulation of the food industry. Her case made, Simon offers a host of suggestions and a manual-like set of directions to parents and other food activists on how to work with legislatures, school boards and the media to create a "just food system" that is "sustainable, affordable, accessible, and convenient." (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

America's fast-food purveyors, beverage industry, and processed-food manufacturers conspire with pliant government regulators to seduce a gullible populace into eating habits that ultimately lead to ill health. So Simon, a health-policy attorney, argues in this volume. Defending their own actions as preservation of people's right to choose, these corporations and the government agencies charged with monitoring them actually restrict consumers' range of choices. This hegemony, Simon contends, leads ineluctably to the present national plagues of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other nutrition-related sickness. Simon expresses particular outrage at how the beverage industry, which so often controls schoolhouse vending machines, has tried to restrict children's choices for break-time snacks and drinks. Among the more controversial recommendations that Simon makes, nutrition labeling of restaurant meals presupposes that chefs exercise more consistency than creativity. Simon also fears that concerns about obesity often misfocus on symptoms, not causes. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Michele Simon is a public health lawyer who has been working as a nutrition advocate since 1996, specializing in policy analysis and legal strategies.

She is the founder of the Center for Informed Food Choices and edits their newsletter, Informed Eating.

She has published numerous articles about such issues as the National School Lunch Program, organic standards, the USDA's dietary guidelines, veggie libel laws, genetically engineered foods, and banning obesity lawsuits. She lectures extensively, has appeared on numerous radio programs, and teaches Health Policy at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she also received her law degree. Michele obtained her master's degree in public health from Yale University.
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