Session: The Politics of Food: The American Diet and Food Safety
4171.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003: 12:30 PM-2:00 PM
The Politics of Food: The American Diet and Food Safety
Food would seem to be the least political of issues but virtually every aspect-from production to consumption-is fraught with conflict over economic as well as societal implications. Stakeholders in the food system include producers, processors, preparers, and consumers; those who provide materials and services to components of the food system; and government agencies responsible for agricultural support and trade, dietary advice, food labeling, safety regulation, education, and health. Because the U.S. food system provides nearly twice as many calories per capita as needed (3900 kcal as opposed to about 2200), the food industry is especially competitive. In this environment, companies use the political system to protect their products from unfavorable regulations or dietary advice that might suggest eating less of their products. In recent years, lobbying groups for the sugar industry have been especially aggressive in opposing dietary recommendations to reduce consumption of sugars. Sugars contain calories but no other nutrients, and consumption of diets high in added sugars has been associated with poor-quality diets and overweight. This presentation uses sugar industry lobbying activities, especially those against the World Health Organization, as an example of the ways in which food companies value profits over public health.
Learning Objectives: Refer to the individual abstracts for learning objectives
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
12:30 PMPolitics, pseudoscience and corporate cash: The defeat of Oregon's Measure 27 (requiring labelling of genetically-modified foodstuffs)
Martin T Donohoe, MD, FACP
12:50 PMPolitics of food: Big sugar vs. public health
Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH
Organized by:Socialist Caucus
Endorsed by:Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of APHA; Food and Nutrition; Medical Care; Spirit of 1848 Caucus
CE Credits:CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing, Pharmacy

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA