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WWL>Topics>>2-20 11:10am Garland, Obesity healthcare costs

2-20 11:10am Garland, Obesity healthcare costs

Feb 20, 2014|

16 states are considering suing the food industry to pay for obesity related healthcare costs. Is this an issue of personal responsibility or food that is made to addict? Garland was joined by Dr. Melinda Sothern, Professor adn Director of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at LSU Helath Sciences Center, School of Public Health.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

It was a last year and remember which month but I do remember -- -- we have the author of something called salt sugar fat. On the food giants have hooked -- on -- made them addicted and he fast foods addictive. And bigoted the notes -- took from that interview. And that some last year more than half of American adults are now considered overweight more than. -- nearly one quarter of the adult population forty million people. Clinically diploma and as a -- and children. The rates of more than doubled since 1980. And the number of kids consider who beats who shot past twelve million. People. Now when you consider those steps of their correct in in today's media overstepped the city yet. This report from the World Health Organization. Says the US health system spins off higher portion of its gross domestic product then in the other country. In other words are help calls from Collison has more. Then -- country. And the reason like you do this little background that I have. Recently. Available for. As -- pitching. To sixteen. State attorneys general sixteen states. In order to convince them to do like -- did with the tobacco industry in the 1990s. And -- the food industry. Ford the cost of soaring obesity related opener call. So I know the bitter re controversial. Thought. And is always rule will take your calls to 601. Lead seven. Told three unit we're in the country's 66 edited and Stewart's company what do you think you agree with a few linked. -- got to bring the cost them some way in this is or does he go back to the argument we're into we're going to be held. Personally responsible and accountable for our own decisions. Daughter help we'll work our way through this. Developers -- expert doctor Melinda southern professors director of behavioral and community health sciences. Oh shoot Health Sciences Center a public health doctoral welcomed the sure appreciate very much. So what do you thing is this a good ideas that so bad that I did in the end it was a good idea could be affected. Well the literature suggests that it's not a good idea. Actually then. Studies for about ten years now looking at. Whether or not they're not scientific evidence. To lay the blame on the food industry. And there's not. At this point. We've not been able to improve for example pictures -- in humans on their studies in animals and -- but that has not. And finding humans. And fast food. The way it is chemically engineered. Is Forte and for the industry will admit that they'd design it so that is very very flavorful and that. Doesn't drive us to want to -- orbit because we like to taste. But again we don't have the signs that suggest that. That that hate engineering is in fact addictive the only evidence we have is that once a person actually will be. There brain chemistry is altered. Because they're response to some chemicals like implement -- Which regulate appetite and regulate you people you know the -- It's altered because of the actual fat cells and they're communication with the rain. We don't know that this is genetic and it Lleyton and distant and raise its ugly head that you gain weight or is it is actually function of gaining weight -- -- the sciences is going at the moment but we don't have answers. But that suggest that in people who are overweight they have -- more difficult time saying -- To do foods that are. That -- cravings. So that's some up -- but you know that the most recent article published on this topic that conclusion. Is that you know the concept except it addiction remains to be proven about the besides just -- -- A -- let me take a break that story introducing a number of them where we're cannot find them. Just Google. Notices. In the studio that article -- is. Is that the addictive. And that is that the Robert -- -- and that actually actually mentioned is the pioneer in this. And it doesn't want regulations. Of the industry but it doesn't necessarily support lawsuits. Because key note that the scientific evidence isn't there. One of the things that they suggested. Is. It -- more programs. Attempt to have the food industry accountable. But with outcomes in other words not telling them out to make it -- more healthy. But challenging them -- you know how can you guys come up with some more you know healthy person what you do and we'll measure the effective -- in. For example children. And then you know those that actually. -- successful will be rewarded for their if that as well. Now one thing that they. Confirmed and it was actually in 2014 study that just came out. In 35 scientific articles. We have evidence that food industry is marketing. High fat high shook -- unhealthy food to children aggressively. Using a lot of different techniques. Still they're still doing it and the -- you know they're using. Premium offers promotional characters nutrition and health related claims hey emotional appeal that -- they're even appealing to them mothers. With all appetizing about food. Healthy. And not so and there's there's there's. A lot of evidence to suggest that this is maybe where. -- and some regulations. Could go and so that. Those foods that we know -- not going to promote health and it's it -- by that because of a theory energy density at a lot of calories. But -- nutrients. You know and not very many vitamins minerals think -- promote health. Then it's not recommended for children and that's that's a common medical. That's not something to be debated so they're promoting it is. And it and a sort of deceptive way which. Is it they are. And they're targeting children. And sort of looks like -- back to me you know that -- like when to back away you know targeting children trying to get them you know. Q you pick up cigarette habit of that maybe we have the legal. Aspect aspect of -- is calling. But that's the only. About marketing the fact that the itself -- -- -- that the. You're Ribery interest and let me take our first break in Litsch picked the conversation up right here because. What you just so mile I had not read about. And to me that raises. A lot of questions in the other direction to a -- for the break I think you were telling the about about some. Evans. Food company huge or or marketing to young people and their doing units are to -- -- -- -- That I understand the critically. That's not really the terms that they used. In its targeted advertisements. -- they're targeting. Young children. Through the use. Marketing tech techniques that appeal to that age group. And they get on it and they define what those are using cartoon characters and you know visual. Things like that so. Other problem is. The type of food that they're marketing to that audience are not healthy I'm not going to promote health. It'd sound like -- taken bleaker -- got a point to it. When you look at our or border our overall health health care system forget Obama care. Can we sustain. That cost we have now can we do is keep going the way we're going. You know we can't. Fit in that way there's no way we're gonna be able to support. That metabolic disease like diabetes. Ask specifically in the heart disease that goes with obesity and the next generation when they become adults. Okay well Paul immune crazy question and then and -- global long way to go there we've we've recently done shows over. -- board here and always versions rounding theories. Soaring oil companies well over the loss of wetlands and the oil companies say there is a true in the scientific evidence that proves. We do that of their experts say we should do. -- light. You're sitting there there's no real evidence that they have conspired to Coca its -- We've got. Documentary it's hot right now -- that up. And and -- -- the food industry -- -- cold when the bad guys and they have their. Doctors a degree in there's statistics and they have their studies. Did did I say all that -- this question. If we're. In. A system health care system that we cannot sustain in the cost all. Just like we cannot sustain. New Orleans without the wetland. Does it makes some sense to go to the food industry and say. You've got to help this would this cost. You may not be causing it. But people were eating your product we're paying the costs of -- we cannot -- Either you're gonna have to change your recipes. Or you can you can have to help -- paper that says that Mankins. Well it all makes sense and an upset as before just because we don't have the evidence that something has gone on doesn't mean it. It's not going -- it's just that it's understudy and that happens. A lot we we're we just don't have. The studies. In humans 222. To inform that illegal. You know for liability. -- bit you know so I think that the industry has been responsive and this is let the literature suggests. And they have reached out to the scientific community and try to improve. You know their foods and they've they've done things like -- portion sizes but now you can actually pick up single serving portions sizes. Which you know -- -- -- what you could do that it would they -- about marketing everything they were selling large you know containers of everything. Trying to push -- their products so. I do think that some of the the companies are listening and they are attempting to. Be responsible. You know where that we need legislation. To force them to is is is -- and again. What's been suggested as reasonable as something call perform a performance based regulation. So that we don't you know we don't restrict certain foods. At the law but we. We give the industry a goal to reduce childhood obesity and a group of people for example through changes in their product in -- accurate. That's been suggested. But. You know what what I don't think the scientific literature. As documented that ball is what goes on -- quote run in the food industry. I -- aren't they really doing as the tobacco industry I think really. Strategically. Design foods so that there you know there. Got to promote. People to want to eat more and more and more. It is addictive but the problem with addictive. Is. There's no. You can't -- cannot be addictive chemical because it's so it but it's not even if it doesn't -- nutrients it's still calories which gives you energy. So that's that's that argument all along it's. It's much simpler -- take a chemicals such an open and they would get addicted because they can prove exactly what it does that chemistry but that is so complex. And obesity such complex disease that is hard to make -- -- -- and those those straight connection. And do what you just said we don't know what's going on behind closed or. The ball more on the -- group out of Chicago's leading there's. Attack on sixteen states attorneys you're not -- leading the movement. And he's innocent human only said -- we're proposing is what several level responsibilities. Some food manufacturers. Bear. Determine. A porn investigation. And evidence not speculation. Is their -- sure real -- debris embers from -- state. It -- wouldn't the lawsuit allow an investigation. Of those memos emails text. But it it it's good and and it. That that historically that's what happened with the tobacco industry is well. They they have enough scientific evidence to to show that it was horrible. -- and we do have enough scientific evidence to show that excess sugar for example is harmful to your health. But. We do have to do the investigation to see that the financial industry that we would irresponsible. In marketing that one. You know nutrient. To children's specific. Is so ask again we're we're board that made both the lawsuit ideal viable chose to apply in the -- probation is whether or not. This has been something that they plan. It you know I think that anything. That would. You know bring more information to the surface. Is certainly -- press personally. In my opinion. I'm not sure that the losses that await ago. To make that happen. There may be other methods that would be more. Cost efficient and cost effective and would take less time you know so. At the moment. This gentleman seems content. You know going to very many states asking them to do that and all of them have said -- so he's not really giving -- by hand with the idea at the moment so. It's it's it's it's it's pretty much timing I think I think we just. It it's gonna take. Sort of a mix of everything that she said that this documentary set -- was pretty eye opening and then. As a side of the articles come out and they're they're making these connections. In the eating disorders. Scientists. They they've done a really good job. -- -- finding food addictions but these indicated that you know food -- for the -- disorder you know -- binge eating disorders. But unfortunately that only counts for a small percentage of obese people. Most of these people do not get binge eating disorders so they they're not. They don't have disruption in the air in their brain chemical that drives and few -- Doctor. I think you've helped educate me and hopefully a lot of people in the audience I appreciate the time very much. Yes thank you for having me and thank you. To this issue that we still need to do some more obligation issue that. I'm sure will call you back in the putrid think -- --

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