How The Huffington Post Is Undoing Anti-Obesity Efforts

Taken from: The Huffington Post and Pizza Hut

The Huffington Post, Pizza Hut

The Huffington Post topped off 2012 with a year-end story about a Pizza Hut delivery man defending himself against attackers. Is this news, or is it advertising?

The answer is clear if you look at the rest of the stories published by the Huffington Post in 2012: Canada’s Pizza Hut Perfume, Singapore’s Double Sensation Pie, the U.K.’s Hot Dog Stuffed Pizza, the Middle East’s  Crown Crust Carnival Pizza, Malaysia’s Super Pan Pizza, and Hong Kong’s Scallop Cheese Opera Pizza. The online news site might want to rename their “Food” section to simply read “YUM! Brands.”

Is It Typical Food Porn?
The Huffington Post openly denied that the glamorization of food in social media is promoting obesity. However, the trend mentioned here is by no means the same “Food Porn” that’s growing across the internet and recently appeared on the Dr. Oz Show. Instead, the Huffington Post’s advertising-disguised-as-news is a newer and “smarter” way for fast food corporations to target youth through social media, and not to mention – nearly impossible to regulate.

We Brought It Upon Ourselves
By 2013, the U.S. barely came to an agreement on the “fiscal cliff” and missed proper re-authorization of the farm bill. As a result, present-day anti-obesity initiatives are forced on to the shoulders of cities and states as local “band-aids.” New York City’s Obesity Task Force is praised across the nation for serving as a model for municipal food policy, but the impact only stretches as far as city limits. Such anti-obesity patchwork hasn’t weakened fast food corporations as much as created loopholes and refocused their attention abroad: Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Now corporations like YUM! Brands look like they finally found a way to continue marketing their exotic products to the U.S. – as news.

The U.S. may need to start taking greater responsibility in global obesity. It’s reached the point where the U.S. has to fight obesity abroad in order to defeat it at home. Forming anti-obesity partnerships would allow cities and countries to exchange proven strategies, as has already begun between New York City and London.

By joining together, obesity won’t have anywhere to hide. Maybe Starbucks was right.


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