Some thoughts on solving obesity…

Here are some examples of ways to solve the obesity crisis. The answers will not be “liked” by all, and sacrifices will need to be made — that is the bottom line. But, as I continue my endeavors in working to engage and support community residents to make their neighborhoods healthier and safer, I too search for the million dollar question: How do we solve the obesity crisis?

The following comes from Hank Cardello who is chief executive officer of 27ºNorth, a consulting firm which addresses societal issues that businesses play the largest role in solving. Over two decades, Hank was an executive at some of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, including Coca-Cola and General Mills. He chairs the annual Global Obesity Business Forum, an initiative sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Manifesto to Solve Obesity


Current proposed solutions are piecemeal; nothing has proven effective in reducing the level of obesity and diabetes.
Foods are now discriminated against. Those declared “bad” are under attack for contributing to the health crisis.
Industry is accused of harming its customers.
Industry has the right – and necessity – to make a profit, and is under attack for doing so.
Most tactics employed insist on the consumer changing his/her behavior. This has proven ineffective, as witnessed by the inability to stay on diet plans.
The consumer is not making the necessary changes to improve their eating habits.
Government is increasingly involved in conjuring up solutions to the obesity problem with counterproductive results. Their approach is piecemeal – not holistic – and focuses on the symptoms and not the problem itself
Activists are pushing anti-capitalist and an Orwellian food agenda to eradicate “bad” foods.

In regard to the Food Industry:
Industry is the only constituent capable of effectively solving the obesity crisis
Industry shall take Stewardship for its customers’ health & well-being
Industry is entitled to profits, but shall Make Money Responsibly
Amnesty shall be granted to all foods & beverages declared “bad” by Activists and Government agencies
There are no “bad” foods & beverages, only inappropriate marketing executions, formats and presentations
Industry shall address all inappropriate executions, formats and presentations of “bad” foods in caring for their customer’s well-being
Only by taking action on the most popular foods & beverages will any progress be made
Improving the nutritional composition while compromising taste will not solve the problem
In regard to Government:
Government involvement shall be limited to the setting of Overall Guidelines, not the execution of how food nutritional issues are to be addressed
Industry is to determine the best way to address the Government Guidelines
Banning, taxing and other means of penalizing the consumption of foods & beverages is prohibited
The State shall communicate in a clear and understandable fashion to properly inform consumers about healthier eating
As a result of #4, the Food Pyramid shall be terminated immediately and replaced by a simpler tool informing How, When and Where foods should be consumed
The use of the term “Serving Size” shall be relegated to countries still using the metric system
In regard to Food Activists:
Activists shall not engage in activities and wonton litigation to eradicate self-condemned foods enjoyed by the public
Activists shall forward constructive and workable solutions
Activists shall accept that the United States is a Capitalist society
In regard to Scientists & Researchers:
Timely, practical and non-conflicting information shall be provided for Industry’s use so that actionable solutions can be achieved
In regard to Consumers:
Consumers shall have the freedom to pursue enjoyable eating without Government or Activist interference
Consumers shall have the right to expect foods to not have a deleterious effect on their health
Consumers shall have the duty to Eat Responsibly.

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