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Sci Tech    H4'ed 1/7/21

Big Food Uses Front Groups to Influence Public Health Policy

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Junk food giants are influencing public health recommendations for the worse, even as doctors and scientists stress the important role good nutrition plays in strengthening the immune system and resisting COVID.

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Delicious junk food-Burger, iced drink and fries
Delicious junk food-Burger, iced drink and fries
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Story at-a-glance:

  • Processed foods, junk foods and soft drinks are key culprits in the rise of obesity and chronic diseases that have a key role to play in COVID-19 deaths.
  • Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, multinational food and beverage corporations are interfering with public policy and influencing the development of dietary guidelines.
  • More than half of those appointed to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) have ties to the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a junk food industry front group.
  • Junk food giants are thoroughly intertwined with public health recommendations pertaining to food and nutrition - to the detriment of public health.
  • Eating nutritious foods could help you lose weight, put Type 2 diabetes into remission and improve your health considerably, so you'll have a much better chance of survival should you contract COVID-19.

Underlying health conditions like obesity, heart disease and diabetes have emerged as key factors in fatalities due to novel coronavirus, COVID-19. In one study, more than 99% of COVID-19 fatalities occurred among people who had underlying medical conditions.

Among the fatalities, 76.1% had high blood pressure, 35.5% had diabetes and 33% had heart disease. What's more, another study revealed that among 18- to 49-year-olds hospitalized due to COVID-19, obesity was the most prevalent underlying condition, just ahead of hypertension.

Chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity have a lot in common, including the fact that they're often fueled by poor diet.

Processed foods, junk foods and soft drinks are key culprits in the rise of such chronic diseases, and therefore have a key role to play in COVID-19 deaths. Yet, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, multinational food and beverage corporations are interfering with public policy and influencing the development of dietary guidelines.

In order to protect public health, this conflicted influence must be curbed, according to a report published by the campaign group Corporate Accountability. Meanwhile, health experts are calling out ultra-processed foods as key players in COVID-19 deaths and calling on public health guidelines to warn the public of their risks.

Junk food giants stymying public nutrition policies

According to Corporate Accountability's report, more than half of those appointed to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) have ties to the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a not-for-profit organization established by a Coca-Cola executive 40 years ago.

DGAC is supposed to be an independent committee, which reviews scientific evidence and provides a report to help develop the next set of dietary guidelines for Americans (2020 to 2025). However, its extensive ties to ILSI all but ensures the committee is anything but independent.

ILSI has been exposed as a shill for the junk food industry, and internal documents have revealed ILSI embedded itself in public health panels across Europe and the UN in an effort to promote its own industry-focused agenda to raise profits at the expense of public health worldwide.

The Corporate Accountability report further examined ILSI's "revolving doors and conflicts of interest" with critical government policy processes, including not only formulating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) but also updating national food composition databases. It explains:

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