PLoS Med. Jul 2012; 9(7): e1001254. 
Published online Jul 3, 2012. doi:  10.1371/journal.pmed.1001254
PMCID: PMC3389029

Thinking Forward: The Quicksand of Appeasing the Food Industry

This article was commissioned for the PLoS Medicine series on Big Food that examines the activities and influence of the food and beverage industry in the health arena.

It is an important time to reflect on the ways that the public and global health communities can engage with the food industry. There are divergent views [1]. Many political bodies, foundations, and scientists believe that working collaboratively with the food industry is the path for change. The assumption is that this industry is somehow different than others, and that because people must eat, the industry is here to stay, and like it or not, working with them is the only solution…….

If history is to look back positively on current times, the future must bring several things. Respectful dialogue with industry is desirable, and to the extent industry will make voluntary changes that inch us forward, the public good will be served. But there must be recognition that this will bring small victories only and that to take the obesity problem seriously will require courage, leaders who will not back down in the face of harsh industry tactics, and regulation with purpose.

 

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