Influencers pushing anti-diets to kids for money: ‘A sick, fat, depressed, addicted child is profitable for the system’

A former food and pharmaceutical consultant says parents should be outraged at the food industry for effectively poisoning their children.

Appearing earlier this week on Fox News’ “Jesse Watters Primetime,” TruMed co-founder Calley Means blamed the ongoing obesity epidemic on a food industry desperate to earn profits at the people’s expense.

Listen:

“As a parent, I am outraged, and every parent should be outraged,” he began. “Fifty percent of our teens are overweight or obese. This is a national moral stain on our country. The childhood obesity rate in Japan is four percent.”

“And working for the food companies, I can tell you they know that the American people want to be healthy. They don’t want their kids to be fat. They don’t want their kids to be depressed. They don’t want their kids to be addicted to ultra-processed food. But they beat that out of them. That’s the strategy,” he added.

How? By rigging federal food guidelines for profit.

“The food industry — and I saw this — they pay the USDA, the IRS, the FDA to rig the guidelines,” Means claimed. “Right now 19 out of the 20 folks who made the nutrition guidelines that kids use were paid for by the food companies.”

As an example of a rigged guideline, he pointed to one stating that 2-year-olds should have added sugar in their diets.

Continuing his remarks, Means then drew attention to a stunning report from The Washington Post published Wednesday claiming, among other things, that online influencers are being paid to promote garbage food.

“There’s this brave reporting from Anahad O’Connor in The Washington Post: If you see a Tiktok influencer telling your kid to eat anything other than whole food, that influencer is being paid for by the food industry,” he said. “There’s a social contagion happening.”

The Post’s report specifically spoke about Tiktok influencers who purport to be dieticians yet are being paid by the food industry to promote garbage.

“Dietitian Colleen Christensen posted a video of herself eating rocky road ice cream on her TikTok account @no.food.rules, in which she mocks low-calorie alternatives,” the Post noted, citing an example. “She has made ads for pancake makers Kodiak Cakes and Premier Protein for her 300,000 followers.”

“Lauren Smith, who calls herself a ‘food freedom dietitian’ on TikTok, has posted ads for frozen pizza from a gluten-free brand, Banza, and for a high-protein snack company, Lorissa’s Kitchen, to her more than 70,000 followers,” according to the Post.

Watch Christensen in the TikTok video below:

@no.food.rules The healthiest= what you find most satisfying. #nofoodrules #intuitiveeating #foodfreedom #nondiet #antidietculture #antidiet ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

To really understand how deep the ties between influencers and the food industry run, just look at what happened during the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo last fall in Denver.

“Dietitians noshed on vegetarian ‘bulgogi’ samples from Beyond Meat and a pumpkin spice loaf made with the sugar substitute Splenda,” according to the Post.

“Next to Camp PepsiCo — the beverage giant’s summer-camp-themed booth — dietitians waited in line to climb a giant yellow General Mills cereal box and slide into a bowl of plushie Cheerios,” the Post noted.

It gets worse.

During the expo, General Mills claimed so-called “food shaming” — shaming people for eating garbage — leads to lower self-esteem and eating disorders.

Meanwhile, Amy Cohn, General Mills’ senior manager for nutrition and external affairs, admitted the company is doing “everything we can to prevent” the Food and Drug Administration from launching new rules to label foods high in sugar, salt, and fat.

“We’re doing everything we can to prevent that from happening,” she said. “Shaming is what I call it.”

Dovetailing back to the discussion on Fox News, it continued with eponymous host Jesse Watters asking Means if the food epidemic is attributable entirely to food or also to inactivity and being on the computer/phone all the time.

Means’ reply suggests he strongly believes it’s the former.

“There’s trillions of dollars in incentives against the American patient to eat ultra-processed foods that’s gone from 0 to 70 percent of our diet in 100 years and to be sedentary,” he said.

“We are absolutely decimating our human capital, and the raw economic reality is that a sick, fat, depressed, addicted child is profitable for the system — the food system and the healthcare system. And the opposite is unprofitable,” he added.

Vivek Saxena

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