As previously mentioned in Croakey posts and in this Crikey story, a tobacco control advocate turned senior PepsiCo executive, Derek Yach, recently debated public health nutritionist Rosemary Stanton at the University of Sydney. He has asked for right of reply to the Crikey piece.
“The pity is that Melissa clearly did not absorb the objective data I offered re modest but important examples of change across food companies (from 60% less calories sold in schools in the USA; to tons of less salt in many products in the UK; to 90& reductions in certain ads to kids across Europe; to 30 000 products reformulated for many nutrients; to real impacts of portion sizes on total calories consumed)…all the data being measured and mostly independently audited!
Many of these changes do not come with increased profits in the short term and are part of deep structural changes underway across industry. They include responding to the World Health Organization’s call for support of the Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity; developing coordinated approaches across many multinationals to tackle a variety of nutrition issues; and stepping up investments in innovation.
Further, to call addressing hunger a distraction is the very worst type of cynicism. I attach our CEO’s speech from last week at the World Food Prize on this. Some might call it a giant distraction–most I work with regard it as an imperative we cannot and must not avoid tackling!
Melissa would do well to relisten to the debate and take note of the above points as well as many impediments to progress in tackling obesity that require more effective actions by governments, NGOs and individuals. For Australia this includes fully supporting the new Preventative Task Force recommendations.”