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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MatthewAlexander
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Re: Are restaurants and junk food producers are responsible?

Post by MatthewAlexander » 05 Apr 2016, 07:53

I think they hold some responsibility, though I don't know if the full blame can be put on them. On one hand, these companies pump their food with addictive chemicals, making it difficult to resist their food. Why? Because all they care about is money. On the other hand, obesity can be genetic, or due to mental illnesses, so food companies aren't completely to blame.

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Post by abithacker » 06 Apr 2016, 16:32

I don't think they are directly responsible, but there is something to be said for their marketing strategies. Food commercials are prevalent and the continuous exposure to certain brands and products can cause subconscious tendencies to buy those goods. In that train of thought, should these food industries be regulated in their advertising for their products, especially in avenues that affect children, such as kids' TV shows?
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Post by Brittster » 08 Apr 2016, 19:39

They certainly do not help. They are too consumed with money to worry about what is actually best for people. However, people all make their own choices. Most of us are not great at self-control. We still have a responsibility to make the best choice for our health.

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Post by CLRogers90 » 10 Apr 2016, 17:52

I believe that they are at least partially responsible, though ultimately we are all responsible for our own actions.

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Post by Mune » 11 Apr 2016, 23:45

TeaAndSpooks wrote: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.

Being someone who has Celiac Disease and a few other health issues related to the consumption of certain processed and modified foods (and not just what I have consumed, but of what my mother and her mother and back consumed), I have to say the food INDUSTRY is partially responsible. That being said, we are very overpopulated and the majority of the world that has the highest populations tends to also have tendencies to have easy and inexpensive access to foods that are inexpensive to make. This is often altered foods. What makes gluten so dangerous for me? My body can not take the high amounts that are in our food presently. The modification that makes our grains have 80-100% more gluten than it did 100 years ago, also makes those food products last longer and be able to be spread more thinly among a populace. As the quoted last line of the book says, it isn't just one singular group that is responsible. High population, poverty, low cost for manufacturing foods a certain way, low cost to purchase certain types of food, and so on.

Granted, in a perfect world, people would all have a family size garden made to keep the family stocked in a decent supply of fresh produce, herbs, etc. Meats would be used more resourcefully, hunting in over populated woodlands and grasslands would result in food used from the meat found and as much as could be used from the kill would be used. And so on. But alas, the world is not perfect and many more issues would need to be dealt with.

So no, I do not believe the food companies are the only ones to blame. But those that own it make it very easy for them and for those that need the convenience and low cost.

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Post by Prisaneify » 12 Apr 2016, 15:37

You have to look at it from all angles. I personally like McDonalds fries, but I haven't eaten them in 6 years because fast food overall makes me feel like crap and I want to be a lot thinner than I am. You can't blame McDonalds because you enjoy fries and shakes every day for breakfast lunch and dinner. They are just trying to make a living and they only came into existence because there was enough demand for their supply.

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Post by Vermont Reviews » 13 Apr 2016, 10:25

It seems like it always cost more to eat healthy than it does to eat non-healthy. Who benefits from our choice? We do mostly.

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Post by rssllue » 23 Apr 2016, 23:54

Prisaneify wrote:You have to look at it from all angles. I personally like McDonalds fries, but I haven't eaten them in 6 years because fast food overall makes me feel like crap and I want to be a lot thinner than I am. You can't blame McDonalds because you enjoy fries and shakes every day for breakfast lunch and dinner. They are just trying to make a living and they only came into existence because there was enough demand for their supply.
The demand for such food is a very good point to be brought up in this discussion. If the demand would not be there, then the supply would dry up in our society. However, that doesn't mean that just because there is that demand for the product that the company supplying it can just make it as cheaply and/or as unhealthy as possible without feeling some sort of repercussions. When things go wrong, there is unfortunately usually plenty of blame to go around.
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Post by lmoses » 24 Apr 2016, 12:43

I do not think that we can blame restaurants and junk food producers for the obesity epidemic, because the problem is bigger then just having junk food available. Obesity is a systematic problem: the food available, the prices of healthy food, the availability of food in certain areas, the nutrition information provided about food, and personal responsibility. Food is part of our daily life, so we cannot blame those that provide the food for causing a problem. People make choices everyday, like apple versus chips, water versus soda, and every choice is based on what a person knows or has availability to.

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Post by babika1962 » 02 May 2016, 07:57

At the end of the day, we alone are responsible for the choices that we make - the good ones, the bad ones and the uninformed ones. However, junk food producers heavily influence our choices and make them all the more difficult since the primary ingredients in junk food are sugar, salt and fat, all very addictive. In fact, sugar has been shown to have the addictive qualities of cocaine and people crave their sugar "fix" just like they need their high or their nicotine fix. Advertising has also heavily influenced our choices, making them all the more difficult, because much of the junk food advertising targets young children and adolescents so from a young age, they're bombarded by television ads for junk food and fast food, etc.

Lastly, our culture in general has exacerbated the problem since our youth has become much more sedentary in recent years with the growing popularity of video games, the internet, etc. Add to that households where both parents work, dinners are usually on the fly, courtesy of a drive-through window and voila, there's a huge chunk of the problem right there.

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Post by Paliden » 03 May 2016, 16:49

I don't think we can blame one single source. There are many factors here. Upbringing is partly to blame. This generation has (generally) been fed on microwave meals and convenience foods. Our time is money, right? When you can go to McDonalds and have your food in 5 minutes for $10 (2 people), why would you want to go home and cook it? Granted, we should want to do the latter because it is so much better for us, but after a long day of work, too many people choose the easier road. Plus all of the chemicals in the foods we eat are doing an untold amount of damage to our bodies.

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Post by Gravy » 03 May 2016, 17:39

If you really want to start thinking about fast food (and other foods) in a more realistic light, look into the way they film or photograph it.
When you see a raw turkey painted to look just right, you'll never look at another one the same way :lol:

Also, not to seem like I'm going off topic, but has anyone seen (or even heard of) the movie Branded?
If we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

We've all got light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.

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Post by babika1962 » 04 May 2016, 10:45

Okay, let's look at this objectively for a minute. Junk food is made addictive with an overabundance of sugar, salt and fat; the media (whether print ads, television commercials, etc.) make food irresistible and food manufacturers also add all sorts of chemicals to our foods to make them last longer and look better, while food growers use pesticides to grow better crop and animals are fed antibiotics and growth hormones to make them more productive and the meat more tender...

We, as the consuming public, are more likely to get cancer in our lifetime from the foods we eat or we'll end up becoming obese from eating "unhealthy" foods - and let's not forget about other ailments such as diabetes, etc.

It seems to me that the cards are pretty much stacked against us from the get-go and there's really no one enterprise to blame as the whole thing is a never-ending vicious cycle. Studies have shown that obesity and cancer are more prevalent in developed countries and there's a reason for that. At the end of the day, the choice is ours as to what we eat and how much of it we eat.

Would anyone else like to "weigh in" on this?

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Post by Metka » 06 May 2016, 01:47

No, I do not think so. Maybe just a bit. Many people simply eat too much. I know at least two people that worked in McDonalds an they are thin. some also have health issues and that's why they have problems with obesity. It's well known that junk food has lots of calories, but it's usually cheaper the healhier food. I ask myself - why is that? If the system was different,..

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Post by Shelle » 07 May 2016, 16:40

Gravy wrote:I agree with Jeremy at the end of the book: no single source is deserving of all the blame.
I agree with this. It is simply to easy to lay blame with one single source. This, like many issues, is highly complex and has many, many moving parts. Improvement can be made in all areas, including in restaurants, food production, and personal responsibility and choices.
This has been a very thought-provoking thread to read!
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