The Food Industry Does Not Have Your Health In Mind

Here’s an article that I’ve been hanging onto for a while, which I think some might find interesting:

The food industry is driving overconsumption

This doesn’t surprise me all that much. The food industry is ruthless, craven and completely greed- and profit-driven. They are only too happy to put the blame on you, for being a lazy layabout, rather than on their shoddy, death-dealing wares.

Snippet from article:
Promoting physical activity has been the favored approach to solving the problem of obesity by politicians and the food industry, said Swinburn. “It’s relatively uncontroversial, there are no commercial competitors, it’s a positive thing to do, so politicians, egged on by the food industry, heavily promote the physical-activity side of the equation.”

Swinburn said that the food industry has been “extraordinarily successful” in promoting excessive intake of calories. “They’ve worked their marketing out to the nth degree. They’ve got the products that we like to eat, they’ve got the price right—in fact the price of junk food has been coming down for years and is getting cheaper and cheaper. Food is everywhere. In the 1970s…when you went to a petrol station you used to buy petrol. Now it’s a chocolate and fast-food station. The food industry has done all they can to sell their products, and they’re doing it extremely well.”

I have always said, and always will say, that the best bang for your weight-maintenance buck is controlling your intake. It is physically and temporally impossible to exercise enough to mitigate the effects of modern processed food. The best thing a person can do is just not eat it in the first place.

For example, imagine I’m driving home from work and stop for gas. I wander in and grab one of those delicious packaged fruit pies you see at convenience stores – I’ve seen some that come in at 800 calories. I would have to bicycle for an hour and a half to burn that off. And that just puts me back where I started – I haven’t even created a deficit yet! And that’s just for one little pie that probably didn’t even fill me up for more than about a half hour. There doesn’t exist enough time in the day to mitigate the effects of unsupportive food choices. What if I grabbed a regular soda in a “big gulp” size while I was in the convenience store? That’s another 370 calories – I guess I could bike for another hour just to get back to zero.

I don’t have 2 1/2 hours to work out every day, and we’re still on the way home from work. Imagine what happens when I make choices for dinner that aren’t supportive? I can easily eat a 1200-1500 calorie dinner without even thinking about it, by visiting a restaurant and ordering without being thoughtful, or buying pre-made food in a box at the grocery store. I would end up having more of a calorie debt than I have enough time to work off in a day, assuming I could devote my entire day to exercising, which I can’t. Better to just see the food industry for what it is, a profit-driven machine that has no interest in supporting my health, and take pride in standing fast against their onslaught.

I’m a big fan of real, whole foods. Fruits, veggies, lean meats. The things my body recognizes as food. No processing required.


5 Responses to “The Food Industry Does Not Have Your Health In Mind”

  1. Shana Says:

    This is a great post. I think that we forget to think about how bad just picking up something quick to eat can be for us. I shared this on my facebook. Thanks so much!

  2. Princess Dieter aka Mir Says:

    ~~I have always said, and always will say, that the best bang for your weight-maintenance buck is controlling your intake. I~~~

    Amen! Absolutely!

    Exercise has a host of body improvement and mental health benefits. It actually does affect the physiology/endocrine processes. I’ve seen how it helps with insulin sensitivity. BUT…you’re right, it comes down to the CALORIES.

    We’re not like Madonna and her ilk who can have a trainer come and run us through paces for 2 hours a day. And, truth is, even they eat lower calorie along with that crazy exercising.

    TBL folks who exercise 6+ hours a day to win the competition eat about 1200 to 1600 a day (depending on gender/size). Of course they can lose 5, 10, 20+ pounds a week. That’s a hella deficit daily!

    But it’s still about deficit. And if I exercise 4 hours a day and eat more calories than my body burned, I’m in doodoo, diet-wise.

  3. Tracy Renae Cote Serros Says:

    Laina, I’ve just started following your blog – I love it!! It’s really helping motivate me to get back down to a comfortable weight… though my situation’s a little different now because I recently had a baby and am breastfeeding, so I can’t go all out like I’ve done in the past.

    I agree that exercise alone is a non-realistic approach to weight loss. I used to play roller derby, and I was skating (hardcore exercise!) at least 2 hours, 3 nights a week and doing an hour or two of walking, jogging or exercise videos at least 3 more days a week… but without sticking to a diet, I lost no weight at all and in fact could still easily gain. Even while trying to diet (albeit half-heartedly), I only lost about 10 lbs in a YEAR!

    I’m curious about how you determine the calories you’re burning with exercise? I’ve found so much conflicting information, and the numbers on the machines at the gym always seem ridiculously inaccurate.

    • Laina Says:

      Hi Tracy, I’m so glad you like it, and congratulations on your baby!

      I have a couple of rules of thumb that I use. When I was learning how to calculate it I was following the HMR program, and they use 4 broad categories of exercise: Low , Medium, High and Very High Intensity. Here’s a link:

      If you put in your current weight, and click on the “Calories for Any Activity” tab, you can see where their broad strokes land you. I find that while it’s not exact, it’s close enough for me. If I’m walking I burn about 7 cal/minute, running is 12 cal/min, etc. If I’m using a level of effort that’s somewhere in between (speed walking, like if I’m injured and can’t run) then I estimate 9 or 10 cal/minute. I know there are widgets that claim to get more exact, but if I’m exercising for an hour at a medium or high intensity level just having a swag is good enough for me – 7 X 60 min = 420 cal for walking an hour. Close enough. 🙂
      I find the numbers on the machine at the gym to be ridiculously inaccurate as well.

  4. Yoko Olsgaard Says:

    Good post, Laina! I have gotten myself down to no buying food with fill-ups. Not even my beloved drumstick ice cream cones. And I resisted the siren call of Ben and Jerry’s today on the way back from lunch. I have to remind myself to think in terms of deficits. Good advice, Laina!!!! It’s encouraging to know that you once weighed a lot. I have always just assumed that you were one of those lucky beautiful skinny people who can eat anything. You just LOOK like one of them to me! I had no idea! So, seeing you today is an inspiration for me to get back on the bandwagon and take the weight I let sneak back on me off. Thank you!

    Eating an orange instead of a Peppermint Patty. One never stops wanting junk food. Damned food industry!

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