Feeding you Lies

How to Unravel the Food Industry's Playbook and Reclaim Your Health

By Vani Hari

The United States is sick. Compared to 16 other developed nations, it comes in last place for health outcomes. The kicker? It spends two and a half times more on healthcare than its peers. So what’s going wrong – why are Americans in worse health despite living in one of the world’s most affluent societies?

Nutrition expert and healthy eating advocate Vani Hari has an answer: Big Food, the conglomerate of huge, multinational corporations like Nestlé and Monsanto, that grow, produce, and market the food Americans eat every day.

Despite all the claims that they’re doing us a world of good, these products are packed with toxic additives, lethal doses of sugar, and an array of untested chemicals.

In this blog, we will blow the lid off the lies we’ve been fed about what we eat. Along the way, you’ll learn about the real nutritional value of everyday products, the science we base our food choices on, and the marketing tricks Big Food uses to smuggle poison onto our tables.

You’ll also find out

• why “low-calorie” alternatives are often just as bad as full-calorie products;

• how producers tricked Americans into buying sugary cereals for their kids; and

• why you should consider switching to organic foods.

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!

Big Food pays for research to be manipulated.

Let’s start with two uncontroversial statements. First, everybody wants to be healthy. Second, the best way to increase your health is to pay attention to your diet. Why then is it so hard to figure out what a “healthy diet” actually looks like in practice?

Blame it on Big Food – the largest food-producing corporations in the United States. For decades, Big Food has been on a mission to deceive the public and hide the truth about its toxic bestsellers. The way it does this is by manipulating research.

Take a 2007 article by Doctor Lenard Lesser in the journal PLOS Medicine. Lesser found that research funded by large food corporations was four to eight times more likely to be favorable to claims made by Big Food than independently-funded research.