Are restaurants and junk food producers responsible?

Discuss the March 2016 Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin.

(Note, Carrie Rubin's previous book The Seneca Scourge was book of the month in December 2012. :) )
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Scott
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Are restaurants and junk food producers responsible?

Post by Scott » 01 Mar 2016, 09:05

[This is a discussion topic for the March 2016 book of the month Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin.]


Do you think restaurants and junk food producers are responsible for the obesity epidemic?


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Post by Gravy » 01 Mar 2016, 09:37

I agree with Jeremy at the end of the book: no single source is deserving of all the blame.
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Post by gali » 01 Mar 2016, 13:18

Gravy wrote:I agree with Jeremy at the end of the book: no single source is deserving of all the blame.
I agree. 8)

I don't think restaurants and junk food producers are alone responsible for the obesity epidemic, and people have to take personal responsibility as well.
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Post by nkkimble1 » 01 Mar 2016, 15:03

no, i don't feel as if they are responsible for the obesity epidemic, plus who says it's an epidemic??? yes it is very prevelant nowadays but is it really worth calling an epidemic? we as humans are gonna to do what we want when we want and that goes for eating what we want when we want, it's not the resturants or the junk food peoples faults its ours, we want to eat whatever and come up with excuses of why we can't exercise, or we were just born with some kind of abnormality that causes us to gain weight much more faster than the adverage person, either way we should try to eat as best as we can and make more time for exercise

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Post by bekkilyn » 01 Mar 2016, 15:51

While I don't believe any one single source is responsible for obesity, I do recognize how powerful the food industry has become and feel that they do have a greater responsibility in general due to holding that amount of power and influence.

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Post by TeaAndSpooks » 01 Mar 2016, 15:55

I believe that partially they are. Mostly the additives and imitations and such that they put into the food to make it more addictive and last longer on the shelves. I do believe that its like 85% the persons choice to consume it, though.
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Post by jacnthabox » 01 Mar 2016, 18:38

It's an interesting conundrum; but I'll answer with another question and an example from the book:

Calvin is a snot, no question... But who makes you angrier, Calvin or his father Mark? Calvin displays mimicry of Mark's attitude toward the obese, and Mark encourages Calvin's bullying through his own actions and responses.

So, if the book's claim that products are tested until they become like addictive drugs is true, and this is common knowledge among researchers, then which regulatory institutions are turning a blind eye? Don't they deserve a judgmental eye for allowing producers to engage in this activity unchecked?

I was a restauranteur for 19 years before I retired from the industry. Never did any company that I was employed with test food in the manner described in the book, and I worked directly with 4 very high profile chains and had an intricate knowledge of dozens of others. In my mind, the claims that food is tested and modified into an addictive substance would pertain to the producers of the ingredient, not the preparer.

Either the claims about food testing mentioned in the book are baseless, thereby excluding restaurants from any responsibility; or we've been deceived and manipulated, which would mean the liability falls on overseers like the FDA and USDA for allowing and, indirectly, encouraging this behavior. The restaurants are the scapegoat. Either way, it's pretty jacked up to see an institution monetarily penalized for operating lawfully.
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Post by Gravy » 01 Mar 2016, 21:58

Another problem is the tendency to make fatty and sweet foods into "treats".
Holidays are exemplified by the food associations, mostly of the sugary kind.

Anything can be a treat if it is treated as such, just ask someone who rarely gets home cooked meals.
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Post by survivalgypsy » 02 Mar 2016, 18:30

I believe that if we are going to ban-or limit-some addictive substances, all must follow the same rule. Food is addictive, it just is, and if our government is going to declare a "War on Drugs" that fills our prisons with nonviolent law breakers, I can get behind a more socially responsible dietary switch. There is not one reason why a growing number of people are living obese, there are many. One is a lack of self-restraint, another is the scientifically tweaked snacks we can't get enough of (like Jeremy says in the book, he sure as hell wasn't craving broccoli). Too many people want to blame others for their problems, while still too many others cannot be selfless enough to act in favor of the greater good.

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Post by bekkilyn » 02 Mar 2016, 18:52

There's also the problem that the junkier foods often cost a whole lot less than the healthy foods, so people who have more financial limitations have more trouble affording the healthier options. I feel like our grocery stores should be packed full of the healthier options and the junk foods be in the smaller "specialty" sections for more special occasions, but it's often the opposite.

And even the healthier options like eggs can be problematic. You can spend $5 for hormone-free, grain-fed eggs, or buy the $2 versions packed with hormones and who knows what else. If you don't have lots of money to spend on food, you're kind of forced into getting the $2 version even if healthier options exist.

Yes, we do need to practice more personal responsibility as a whole, but at the same time we need to admit that the odds are definitely not stacked in our favor.

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Post by TangledinText » 04 Mar 2016, 11:00

No. You have to teach yourself discipline. It's just like I wouldn't blame the gun manufacturers for killing people. It's the people and their mindset you should be focused on for killing people as well as with food.
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Post by LivreAmour217 » 04 Mar 2016, 13:38

The food producers have definitely not helped the problem, but the responsibility lies primarily on the consumer. If I know that I just can't eat a certain food in moderation, then I don't buy it. If enough people were to do this, then the food companies would get the message and start offering up healthier options.
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Post by Gravy » 04 Mar 2016, 21:43

bekkilyn wrote:There's also the problem that the junkier foods often cost a whole lot less than the healthy foods, so people who have more financial limitations have more trouble affording the healthier options. I feel like our grocery stores should be packed full of the healthier options and the junk foods be in the smaller "specialty" sections for more special occasions, but it's often the opposite.

And even the healthier options like eggs can be problematic. You can spend $5 for hormone-free, grain-fed eggs, or buy the $2 versions packed with hormones and who knows what else. If you don't have lots of money to spend on food, you're kind of forced into getting the $2 version even if healthier options exist.

Yes, we do need to practice more personal responsibility as a whole, but at the same time we need to admit that the odds are definitely not stacked in our favor.
Completely agree :text-yeahthat:
bookfix_blog wrote:No. You have to teach yourself discipline. It's just like I wouldn't blame the gun manufacturers for killing people. It's the people and their mindset you should be focused on for killing people as well as with food.
That's a fair point, but I'd like to counter with a disturbing statistic.

A certain fast food chain spent $963 million on advertising in a single year.

I'd bet that if gun manufacturers spent that much to get people to buy their products there would be a lot more shootings than there already are.

I'm not even arguing because I agree, if people were more aware of the tricks that are being played on them with ads, they would be less susceptible, but they don't spend that much on advertising for nothing. They hack into all the things they know will draw your eye, and make you feel hungry. That is just fact, as well as smart business. But they know what they're doing :confusion-shrug:
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Post by PashaRu » 06 Mar 2016, 10:56

Admittedly, it has become more difficult to eat healthy in recent decades. But blaming restaurants and junk food is a bit of a cop-out. It seems people want to blame their problems on everything and everybody else these days instead of assuming a mote of personal responsibility.
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Post by LivreAmour217 » 06 Mar 2016, 13:22

PashaRu wrote:Admittedly, it has become more difficult to eat healthy in recent decades. But blaming restaurants and junk food is a bit of a cop-out. It seems people want to blame their problems on everything and everybody else these days instead of assuming a mote of personal responsibility.
Yes, personal responsibility does seem to be waning, doesn't it?
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