Health and Fitness Series: The Weaponization of Sugar, Salt, and Fat

New York

What are you putting into your mouth? Where does it come from? How is it made? Do you enjoy paying for the staggering healthcare costs of millions of obese Americans who are making poor nutrition choices?

Democracy Now has an interview with Michael Moss whose new book Salt, Sugar, Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us was recently the subject of a major cover story on the processed food industry in the NY Times Sunday Magazine:

“On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. …

As he spoke, Mudd clicked through a deck of slides — 114 in all — projected on a large screen behind him. The figures were staggering. More than half of American adults were now considered overweight, with nearly one-quarter of the adult population — 40 million people — clinically defined as obese. Among children, the rates had more than doubled since 1980, and the number of kids considered obese had shot past 12 million. (This was still only 1999; the nation’s obesity rates would climb much higher.) Food manufacturers were now being blamed for the problem from all sides — academia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. The secretary of agriculture, over whom the industry had long held sway, had recently called obesity a “national epidemic.” …

The meeting was remarkable, first, for the insider admissions of guilt. But I was also struck by how prescient the organizers of the sit-down had been. Today, one in three adults is considered clinically obese, along with one in five kids, and 24 million Americans are afflicted by type 2 diabetes, often caused by poor diet, with another 79 million people having pre-diabetes. Even gout, a painful form of arthritis once known as “the rich man’s disease” for its associations with gluttony, now afflicts eight million Americans.

The public and the food companies have known for decades now — or at the very least since this meeting — that sugary, salty, fatty foods are not good for us in the quantities that we consume them. So why are the diabetes and obesity and hypertension numbers still spiraling out of control? …

There is even a Jewish angle to this story other than the kosher tax:

“Stung by the rejection, Cadbury Schweppes in 2004 turned to a food-industry legend named Howard Moskowitz. Moskowitz, who studied mathematics and holds a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Harvard, runs a consulting firm in White Plains, where for more than three decades he has “optimized” a variety of products for Campbell Soup, General Foods, Kraft and PepsiCo. “I’ve optimized soups,” Moskowitz told me. “I’ve optimized pizzas. I’ve optimized salad dressings and pickles. In this field, I’m a game changer.”

Huge corporations like Kraft, General Mills, and Coca-Cola are using the latest science to make nutritionally inferior junk foods loaded with salt, sugar, and fat – like the 400 calories that are in 1 cup of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese – more tasty and addictive. The result of all this corporate manipulation of the American diet (like stripping fiber and minerals out of food to make you stay hungry all the time) has been a national downward spiral into obesity and soaring healthcare costs.

NPR has another interview with Moss that explores how Coca-Cola, which forced Atlanta’s business class to capitulate to integration in the 1960s, has successfully marketed its high calorie diabetes water to the point where it has become the recognized brandname in the entire world.

About Hunter Wallace 9897 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. At a Libertarian lecture on food, the jewish speaker suggested that the obvious thing to do (since all the good food was labeled anyway) was suggest that everyone only buy kosher products.

    Of course he might see that as a solution.

    In reality, “kosher” includes all the worst kinds of soda pop, not to mention many other disgusting foods, (biblically), so it was funny. Dr. Pepper and Red Bulls are kosher. An organic pork roast is not, for instance. So you could see the effect of someone thinking that “kosher” means good food, and where people such as him saw the future of the market in kosher labeled products.

  2. Other thing about these vids:

    One can see more fallout from the “New South.” I used to see the use of “law” to wipeout the Bible Belt (ending E-ville Tobacco and ridding the country of 500,000 farmers), as merely a LAND GRAB scheme of Northerners, who have to devalue people’s property to “get” something.

    Or Genocide, since Tobacco Acts ended 500,000 Bible Belt (code for protestant, largely German, English, Scots Generational American) farmers. China and Brazil are other lead producers of Tobacco, and those were seen as fine, (nor are their religions seen as “vile heresies that must be stamped out,” and Americans can buy from them for a much higher price— So, it just seemed like the “New” u.s. Immigrant Leaders who are all from the Latin South or China feeding their “home countries” (Latino Lands and communists).

    However, the vids raised another aspect.

    After the land was devalued “legally” (and handed out to Northeast cronies to build houses —ie, the “housing crisis”— and after they were handed to the Welfare-Warfare Recipients), the “New Southerners” used the old Tobacco infrastructure to POISON the population.

    You really have to admire the “innovations” of Yankees.

    But the bottom line is THEY DO NOT GROW THINGS. They devalued the less dangerous farm crop of tobacco, devalued the land, then scammed on the land, AND THEN used the old factories to POISON people.

    Why can’t they GROW things? Why do they only “take?”

    Why don’t they see the beauty of the old Agrarian South?

    In the neighborhoods heavy with NETS, you can actually spot who is who, just by the fact that they are the ones with the “landscapers.” (ie, foreign cheap labour to do their yards).

    A friend told me her NET neighbors actually hire people to design her christmas decorations, hand them, etc. (As if she is a corporation, LOL!) Don’t people long to meet others with some personal charm? Some unique point of view? Some evidence that something other that just strict materialism was pursued in life?

  3. I meant “hang” their christmas decorations.

    Now…the Vatican is on t.v. (At this very moment). Where can we go, to have our own kind of life back, and be left alone?

  4. “Why can’t they GROW things? Why do they only take?”

    Because they are the rat race who cannot grow their own bread, but WIN their bread, who live by, and for MONEY, as in “the love of money is the root of all this evil.”

    A truly natural diet follows the tradition of our ancestors, and is mostly or entirely grown and prepared at home, requires more direct effort and time but costs very little money (perhaps none at all) and cannot be purchased in chain restaurants and big box stores.

  5. “When I asked Geoffrey Bible, former C.E.O. of Philip Morris, about this shift toward more salt, sugar and fat in meals for kids, he smiled and noted that even in its earliest incarnation, Lunchables was held up for criticism. “One article said something like, ‘If you take Lunchables apart, the most healthy item in it is the napkin.”

    • To get a better feel for their work, I called on Steven Witherly, a food scientist who wrote a fascinating guide for industry insiders titled, “Why Humans Like Junk Food.” I brought him two shopping bags filled with a variety of chips to taste. He zeroed right in on the Cheetos. “This,” Witherly said, “is one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet, in terms of pure pleasure.” He ticked off a dozen attributes of the Cheetos that make the brain say more. But the one he focused on most was the puff’s uncanny ability to melt in the mouth. “It’s called vanishing caloric density,” Witherly said. “If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there’s no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever.”

  6. “Where can we go, to have our own kind of life back, and be left alone?”

    You can’t run away or hide your head. You must take your responsibility (if you haven’t yet) and get actively involved in politics to turn back the tide, or resist it at least, on the local level at least. Rally your troops.

    Agenda 21 is coming to every little town and township in disguise now, to arrange your local affairs.

  7. We already knew it destroys the liver, and passes the brain barrier to destroy brain cells (sugar alcohol in diet foods and drinks does this also), and generally impairs judgement, and is highly addictive for some people, and fatal in accidental high doses — but now it works synergistically with chemical carcinogens to promote many kinds of cancer!

  8. This anti-snack food malarky is just another feelgood Yankee crusade. It’s a pity to see it discussed here.
    Follow Jack LaLanne’s advise: “If it tastes good, spit it out!”

  9. A lot of weightlifter protein supplements are soy-based, and soy is mostly GMO and carries Roundup residues now. Commercial organic food is too expensive. We need to grow our own, which is another form of healthy exercise.

    • I don’t see it as another Yankee crusade.

      I’m too familiar with people who are obese because of fast food, who have diabetes because of soda, who have gotten lung cancer and mouth cancer from tobacco, and who have high blood pressure and hypertension due to the excessive levels of sodium in their diet.

      These are real problems. Especially here in the South.

  10. We can fight the system by growing and preparing our own food, and let the rat race eat each other.

  11. In September 2012, he thinks the food czarina Michelle Obama will soon be out of office:

    I despise the false crusaders for healthy food, and food dictatorship. Freedom is better than health or life itself. Global Agenda 21 is coming to oversee what farmers can grow, and what you eat.

  12. The processing is what is so destructive. Animals as well as humans like “sweet” and “fatty”. When food is scarce, fatty foods provide a high caloric return aka you can live longer on less fatty food, than on veggies, before you starve to death. It’s all about balance. Make sure you have loads of clean WATER. That’s the most important element. As well as EXERCISE. Then balance all the rest.

    By the by – the Monsantos were and are Jews. They are responsible for pushing their GMO frankenfood on an unwittling population. Purging Jews will go a loooong way towards re-establishing health, sanity, and All that is Good.

  13. But the largest weight-inducing food was the potato chip. The coating of salt, the fat content that rewards the brain with instant feelings of pleasure, the sugar that exists not as an additive but in the starch of the potato itself — all of this combines to make it the perfect addictive food. “The starch is readily absorbed,” Eric Rimm, an associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and one of the study’s authors, told me. “More quickly even than a similar amount of sugar. The starch, in turn, causes the glucose levels in the blood to spike” — which can result in a craving for more.

  14. The Founders didn’t think of mentioning the right to eat as we please, but it falls under the categories of liberty and pursuit of happiness in the Declaration. I am against diet dictatorship even more than I oppose corporate mega-farming and commercial food industry. We need to keep our movement’s efforts distinct from the false crusades and programs of the food police.

  15. Re: potato chips:

    In contrast, the plain, baked or raw potato with the skin is almost a balanced diet in itself.

  16. Lower class Whites have always had poor nutrition. Here’s one area where liberal elitist. Yuppies have things much better. Blaming coke a cola for lower class white’s poor health is a waste. Coke originally. Marketed their product as a good tasting alternative to booze.

  17. Food prices rising! Inflation rising(two are nigh the same)! What to do? Grow garden, farm, buy local farmer or live off the WORD.

  18. Just reading the post and comments as I’m eating my dinner of a salad (raw broccoli, carrots, spinach, dried cranberries and extra virgin olive oil) and a 4.5 oz can of tuna. Dessert will be a sweet firm apple and perhaps some mixed nuts. I’ve been following the Paleo diet for more than a year and feel great. My weight, blood pressure, resting heart rate and hdl/ldl ratio are optimal. My body fat percentage is between 10% and 12%. I’m not completely confident as to the accuracy of the scale I use to compute it so I’m estimating. And that is with a fairly sedentary lifestyle until recently.

    Calories come in three basic forms: protein, fat and carbohydrates. That’s it. Sugar, grains and starches are carbohydrates. Generally the less fiber in a carbohydrate the more of the carbohydrate will be digested. The obesity epidemic exploded when carbohydrates replaced fat as in caloric intake. Fats don’t make you fat. Carbohydrates do by disrupting the insulin response. If you reduce your carbohydrates you have to increase your fat intake to maintain caloric requirements. The more weight you wish to lose the more you need to cut back on your carb’s. It’s that simple.

    Do yourself a favour and look into the paleo or primal diet.

  19. I hate potato chips. They are disgusting. Greasy. Yuck. I’m not that keen on potatoes, either.

  20. There are 100 calories in every Coca-Cola which uses caffeine to create addiction. It is easy to see how drinking excessive amounts of Coca-Cola leads directly to obesity and by extension to diabetes.

  21. So the conservative elitists (Hunter, Denise and Wayne) and the liberal elitests (Michelle Obama, Bloomberg, Pelosi) come together to tell the unwashed masses what they should eat (not that they’re bothering to read this site, which makes them a lot more sane than I am). Oooh, we’re talkin about fitness; Fr John is gonna be really angry now. What circle of hell will he put us in?

  22. So let me see here; it sounds to me as if you are looking for the .gov to decide what you/we can and can’t eat? Somehow this doesn’t gibe with most everything else I read here. Here’s a radical thought. Look at what you are eating and decide for yourself whether it’s what you should be eating – and if it’s “bad” for you, it ain’t nobody elses bidness.
    Me, I’m 70y/o and I’ve probably been drinking 32 ounces of cold caffine(I highly recommend picking up the Mexican made coke at Home Depot – it’s closer to the original stuff.) with lots of sugar every day for more then 50 years – not to mention likewise a quart of whole milk or more. Couldn’t tell you the last time I had a glass of water or vegetables. By every “normal” standard I should be fat of dead. Anyhoo, my point here is that I ‘pect that eating what your body tells you to eat is the way to go.
    Oh, yeah, my body weight has been plus or minus five pounds for the past forty years.
    Food police are NOT what we need next…jist sayin’.

  23. I eat what I please. The physical harshness that I put my body through on a daily basis, is utterly thermonuclear in it’s burning of whatever calories, fats, and sugars happen to be in the food I eat.

  24. I would have agreed with 313C and the other guy with perfect genes, but as I’m getting older, I find that the things I ate and did at 25 are having their affects on my body now. It’s important that we’re in shape. I see it as part of the Greek ideal of Arete. Just because the liberals are trying to ban foods doesn’t mean we should immediately dismiss the idea.

  25. There might be a kernel of truth to this story, but there are much more important factors fueling the obesity epidemic. The first is people just eat too much. The main drag in my hometown has gone from a few fast food places and mom-and-pop joints to one big feeding trough in the span of a generation. Secondly, too many people just sit on their arses all day, of course it doesn’t help that our manufacturing jobs have been shipped to China.

    But I’m not overly concerned. When the big crash comes people will get lean and mean in a hurry.

  26. Research is slowly proving that it’s the type of oils and fats not fat that’s the problem. Look at this.
    Refined Grains & Desserts diet 50% worse than Fast Food diet!

    I try to not eat bread, although I love it. Tonight I bought a Zevia cola. It has stevia in it which I use in my tea in the morning. Taste ok to me. Like diet coke. I normally can’t drink diet coke because of the phyni… whatever.. aspertane stuff. It makes me feel weird. I read a review that said the Zevia had a bad aftertaste but I like it. I like stevia though. The black cherrys supposed to taste best. Haven’t tried that.

  27. I never had junk food growing up, and we never had sodas in the household. For snacks, we ate CARROTS! And other such things.

    First time I really had a pig-out party with girlfriends, (supposed to be an overnighter), I ate potato chips and so on, and threw up, and then had to go home. lol

    So, I don’t think people LIKE junk food— they’re just used to it. I CAN’T drink sodas. They taste like what they are: chemical soups. I have one about once a year, usually at other people’s where that’s what they serve.

    What’s really destroying people is like the girl in the vid: her thyroid quit working. That’s become REALLY common. And other endocrine disorders.

    And why preppers seem so funny. Forget the “financial collapse.”

    Wait until the whole country has a month without its meds.

  28. Dixiegirl, commercial sodas are bad, but have you tried home-brewed root beer? Almost non-alcoholic. You can use sassafras roots, or birch bark.

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