Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

People Unclear on the Concept

The Institute of Medicine today released it's breathlessly anticipated report on marketing of food to children. The eminent scientists have discovered (get ready for it) that, according to Senior Scholar J. Michael McGinnis, "The foods advertised are predominantly high in calories and low in nutrition -- the sort of diet that puts children's long-term health at risk."

Now that they have made this major scientific discovery, what does the august Institute recommend? That the food and beverage industries should promote healthier foods, and that the media and entertainment industries should campaign for healthier diets.

Now see folks, I know you are really brilliant doctors and everything, but it's like this. The food and beverage, media and entertainment industries, do what they do for the following reason:

To make money.

Sugary junk food is cheap, very cheap to make -- and it's cheapness, by the way, is enhanced by agricultural subsidies that pay farmers to overproduce sugar and corn. It's very easy to get kids to eat it, and to eat a lot of it. Sponge Bob and his friends advertise it because they are paid to do so. TV networks run the ads because the food companies pay them. The food companies pay these companies to advertise their junk food because that's how they figure they can make the most money.

About the moral exhortations of the Institute of Medicine they give not a jot nor a tittle.

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