THE BLOG

Soda, Chips, and Other Public Health Solutions 

06/05/2015 04:35 pm ET | Updated Jun 05, 2016

Recently someone sent me a blog that was poking fun at some of the science for better health around food, but also bullying people just like me who want to know every detail about their food.

Friends who want to meet for dinner will jokingly say: "Couz, you go to the restaurant early so you can examine the birth records of the poultry and check the USDA organic certification records. By the time we arrive, you need to be ready to drink and eat! Got that? No asking food questions after cocktails!" And they are dead serious; I can't even ask if the salmon is wild without a lot of drama from the sidelines.

The blog my friend shared is somehow linked to a Washington, D.C. group that at first glance promotes a healthy weight. However, on a second look, some people might mistakenly think it's a lobbying firm. 

It turns out that it is an organization led by CEOs from packaged food companies, some of which produce what some may consider to be foods that increase risks to human health. The website reports that its mission is to help reduce obesity. The organization is led by folks from Monsanto, Grocery Manufacturers Association, The Coca-Cola Company, General Mills Inc., Nestlé USA, Hershey, and Pepsi. 

Pepsi products include Mountain Dew, Lay's, Gatorade, Tropicana, 7UP, Doritos, Cheetos, Ruffles, Pepsi Max, Tostitos, Sierra Mist, and Fritos. 

I was glad I saw the blog because it reminded me about what these kinds of companies with endless resources could be doing differently. They have real power -- not just to count and cut calories as the groups site suggests but to make America healthier and reduce health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and yes, even cancer.  

Progress to me would be for these companies to look at themselves to see what they could do to put out the best products possible with the idea of actually protecting the public.

No matter what their jobs, everybody wants to see healthier futures, not just with less obesity but less heart disease, less diabetes, and less cancer. Nobody wants to see anyone they love be sick or be taken too soon from a preventable disease and in turn a preventable death. 

These behemoth "convenience" packaged food corporations may have a chance of developing the solution for the current cataclysmic public health issues. We live in a time where people my age, the baby boomers, are in worse overall health than their parents. Not to mention we are raising a generation of the most obese people in the world. 

Yes, we all have a role in guarding public health. We all have a role in preventing diseases. These are our children -- the future -- and we have compromised their health. 

Corporations need to understand that the American public is sick of being sick. No more obesity, no more diabetes, no more heart disease, no more cancer.

So while these big-money packaged food leaders seemingly want to promote cutting calories, my hope is that one day they will want to promote something that is not just a healthier option (as in less dangerous) but is truly healthy.