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Feeding You Lies
How to Unravel the Food Industry’s Playbook and Reclaim Your Health
- Read in 10 minutes
- Audio & text available
- Contains 6 key ideas
Feeding You Lies (2019) is an exposé of one of America’s shadiest industries – the food sector. Fed up with being lied to and sold junk rebranded as “health food,” blogger Vani Hari decided to find out what was really going on behind all the glitzy marketing. In Feeding You Lies, she details what she discovered. Along the way, she provides a wealth of tips and tricks to avoid being taken in and make healthier choices in the grocery store.
Key idea 1 of 6
Soda is a key driver of obesity, but manufacturers manipulate public opinion and the law to evade responsibility.
According to the National Institute of Diabetics and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, over two-thirds of all Americans were obese in 2017. This number underscores something that’s been known to public health experts for a while now: America is in the grips of an obesity epidemic. But what’s driving this crisis? Well, there are multiple factors but one culprit is clear – soda.
Around two-thirds of American children consume at least one soda a day while a third drink at least two. This is bad news for their health; a 2009 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking one can of soda per day increased the risk of heart attack by 20 percent. The Center for Disease Control, meanwhile, links heavy soda consumption with Type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, and asthma.
Despite all this evidence, the American Beverage Association – ABA for short – refuses to admit that its products pose a health risk. Instead, the trade association advocates exercise, which is demonstrably less effective as a weight-loss tool than a healthy diet. Coca-Cola, one of ABA’s members, has even introduced a calorie-counting app called “Work It Out,” designed to help the company sell its low-calorie ranges, including Diet Coke and Coke Zero. Ironically, so-called “diet sodas” are every bit as dangerous and fattening as regular sodas.
These measures are part of an all-out war on public health authorities’ efforts to change consumer behavior and warn them of the dangers of sugary drinks.
Another is the Sugar Association. Like its ally the ABA, it actively spreads food industry propaganda and attempts to manipulate politicians by making large donations to their campaigns. These efforts have a huge influence on government policy. Since 2009, for example, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and the ABA have spent $67 million on efforts to prevent both the introduction of a sugar tax and health warnings being put on their products.
Even more worryingly, these associations are so influential that government agencies actually use them as policy consultants. The Departments of Health and Human Services, for instance, took advice from the ABA when it issued dietary guidelines!