How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food

As growth slows in wealthy countries, Western food companies are aggressively expanding in developing nations, contributing to obesity and health problems.

Comments: 194

  1. The article says "It is hard to overstate the economic power and political access enjoyed by the food and beverage conglomerates in Brazil." It is also hard to overstate the economic power and political access enjoyed by the food and beverage conglomerates in the USA!

  2. We keep invading other countries one way or another. Dumping cigarettes, unhealthy food...products banned from shelves in US often show up on other continents. Then as people catch on to what we are doing, we wonder why they hate us. By pushing our junk food on other countries, we are trespassing on their cultures and attempting to corrupt their sovereignty.

  3. And it's hard to overstate the negative effect the food industry has on our health. I'll state it plainly: the. food. industry. is. killing. us.

    Obesity. Autoimmune disease. Diabetes. We now know these diseases of the industrial world are linked to our microbiomes -- our gut bacteria. The health of our immune systems depends on the diversity of our microbiome. Food emulsifiers like cellulose gum, processed vegetable oils -- yes, getting rid of hydrogenation did not solve the problem --, antibiotics in meat, not to mention all the pesticides -- these things are like land mines in a grocery store.

    If we want to solve the health care crisis, start with the one created by our food.

  4. No one is forcing them to buy or eat anything they don't want to.

  5. Nestle does make an excellent nutritional supplement drink (Boost) that is superior to Ensure, made by Abbott Laboratories. It was the only thing my aged mother could drink without having a reaction to it. Doctors praise it as well.

  6. And this justifies the rest?

  7. You should see how Walmart markets food in the south, land of the obese. This article sounds like a hit job on one company. They aren't the only people who aggressively market food. What about American school districts who serve chocolate milk to elementary school students and allow vending machines in schools? Those policies are just as destructive.

  8. Janet - Nothing needs to be justified. Nestle makes a full line of products, and people buy the ones they want. That is what freedom is all about. allowing people to make choices in their lives. If they make good choices, they prosper; if they make bad ones they do not and, one hopes, they make better choices in the future.

  9. The article talks about "ignoring mainstream scientific evidence about the dangers of consuming too much sugar, soda and processed food." Sorry less than 20 years ago the mainstream consensus was exactly the opposite. The American Heart Association was actually recommending hard sugar candies and soda when people felt hungry. Anything to avoid fat and cholesterol. But if you avoid fat and cholesterol, then that largely eliminates meat, eggs, milk and cheese which almost forces you into processed carb rich foods. Even in this article it still calls fat bad when finally its been exonerated. Everything nutritionists have done over the last 50 years is to get people to not eat what they ate in the 1950's which was plain pure food right off the farm. Steak and eggs for breakfast was the best possible recommendation but its the opposite of what they did.

  10. There has never been a time when anyone, other than the manufacturers, were recommending hard sugar candies and soda.

  11. Jim, I think it's a bit more complicated than that. The AHA and other respected organizations pushed the belief that "a calorie is a calorie" and fat was bad because it had so many more calories than carbs and protein. That gave lots of ammunition for the "low-fat" snacks and misleading "only 16 calories per teaspoon" advertising campaigns which led people like me, growing up in the 80s to think that having a coke for breakfast was better for me than eggs and bacon because it was fewer calories. I would recommend "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes to see the specific history being referred to by both me and the person that you're replying to.

  12. Would you care to document that claim about the AHA recommending hard sugar candies and soda when people felt hungry??

  13. This is sick. I am appalled that for the sake of business (aka money) a company spreads sickness.

  14. I despise the misuse of language. When I was young the opposite of underweight was overweight. The opposite of obesity was starving to death. Yes, more people are overweight than underweight and more people are obese than starving to death.

  15. Many obese people take in too many calories but suffer from malnutrition. Just because something is high in calories it doesn't mean it is nutritious.

  16. your point is well taken but we are arguing about the QUALITY of the obesity.

  17. After damaging the health of millions of Americans with processed food, food companies are spreading obesity in Third World countries which have a much healthier diet then the US. I hope they resist and ban the contamination of billions of people with junk food. it's like adding insult to injury.

  18. Obesity is not a result of Western food companies selling their products in third world countries, it's a product of overeating and lack of control. It's easy to blame Nestle for the problem of obesity by making food available to people who have need of their products. With this new found abundance there will always be obese people, but that should never be a reason to deprive people of the food that they never had in the past.

  19. Nestle and other 'food' companies don't just make their products 'available'. They advertise agressively and get politicians and academics on their payroll. Their dominance in certain markets crowds out healthier foods - which are more expensive simply because Nestle et al produces stuff of terrible quality.
    The food coglomerates are, in fact, depriving people of food.

  20. The theory of "personal responsibility", in this form, and so many others, is one of the more destructive ideas out there in the US. Human behavior, including your own, is based in large part on social and environmental factors. The completely false insistence that we're all total masters of our behavior results in a society that can't effectively deal with institutional problems, because it pretends that institutional problems don't exist.

  21. Sorry but the point is that nobody actually needs products from Nestle in this world. This idea is an illusion, an example of how well big corpo marketing works nowadays. Nestle never went out there with the goal of saving the world from famine or anything. Everything they do is about money. Juicy green dollar bills, end of the story. Don't let yourself be fooled by those corpo's greed.

  22. Wow! What a fascinating and disturbing article. Drug dealers take all forms and fashion don't they? Big pharma, food and beverage conglomerates and drug cartels; their business models are ALL the same. It's really shameful what an MBA can accomplish. Let's not let these companies off the hook so easily by saying they make a few products that benefit some when they clearly could do so much more. It's like saying that the bank's should not be help responsible for the 2008 mortgage crises because some people that could not afford a house actually got have one.

    The only solution in the end it appears is to decimate demand through education and personal knowledge. These industries are betting that people can not be this disciplined. Government solutions appear to be a non-starter. As we've seen in our own country (as well as Brazil) our government are now 100% corrupted by corporate money.

  23. Although it has provided access to cheap food for millions the general commodification and corporatization of the food system has left us as a species less prepared for calamities, whether they are natural or man made. We have become shorn of our relationship to the food that we eat; which unfortunately means that if the system that produces said food collapses, a large number of us will be as helpless as babies when it comes to feeding ourselves.

  24. thankfully out here in california the governor signed a law that lets us apartment dwellers grow tomatoes and such on our balconies. we'll manage.

  25. It's terribly sad that, as wealthy as America and other "western" countries are, we could be spreading knowledge about how to live better and are instead being represented around the world by the insatiably greedy Robber Baron financial elite.

    WE THE PEOPLE must demand that the worldwide development model that OUR hard-earned taxpayer, consumer and 401K dollars are paying for be socially conscious and sustainable for average people - rather than just enriching the already wealthy. It is time for a new, socially and economically sustainable model of civilization to take hold. WE must demand a model that moves us to the future instead of one that will kill us with greed.

  26. WE must demand a model that moves us to the future instead of one that will kill us with greed.

    Well, I'll be waiting for the Brazilian politicians to write a rebuttal of this article. Follow the MONEY. You can probably go to the country that is the worst place to live for its citizens anf find that the politicians are living high off the hog. Mugabe reportedly spent a million dollars on his 90th birthday party---that uys a lot of NESTLE products.

  27. Ps: South America is in the West, just like North America. Can't see any sense on your first sentence.

  28. Wealth inequality is global and is THE problem in the world, luis. Corruption is rampant at the top of most governments right now as it hasn't been since 1922.

  29. As an aid worker, I've seen this transition in places like Haiti, Uganda, Nicaragua and India. These are hot countries where clean water is scarce and bottled water is expensive. People drink a lot of soda, and it's relatively easy for parents to give their kids chips and other garbage when they are hungry. Overtime, the real local foods - tropical fruits and healthy meals like beans and rice get replaced by pizza, french fries and salty fried chicken. Even in the most remote locations you'll find boats unloading pallets of soda and other soft drinks, cookies and chips. The worst possible trend is the substation for formula over breast milk.

    But it doesn't end here. At a cattle fattening ranch in Managua I saw the facility feed the cows giant bags of Chinese cheese puffs and bricks of lard. This is what corn-fed means in Nicaragua. Their tropical soils are so eroded and poor they need to fatten their cows with processed garbaged. I am not making this up. I no longer eat any meat in Nicaragua. Ditto that for chicken in Haiti -- all of it comes in frozen in 50 pound bags from the U.S. 0 it's disgusting.

  30. Thanks as there are similar stories out of Las Vegas where local pig "farmers" buy enormous quantities of salad bar & buffet food to feed the swine. I'm sure you can find the video, but perhaps you have something better to do with your life?

  31. Please don't compare formula to processed junk food. Formula is not processed cookies and soda. Not everyone is able to breastfeed their babies. Formula is a perfectly healthy and acceptable alternative to breastmilk. I understand the concerns about clean water in developing nations and about extra cost for poor women when breastfeeding is free. However it is not always easy to breastfeed and again, not all women are able, and providing formula to your infant is not the same as feeding them soda.

  32. This is terrible for human health - feeding cheese puffs and bricks of lard to cows - but the fact is that these animals are being horribly abused if they are being fed that way. Only the consequences to humans seem to be of concern. Also, it has been amply demonstrated that humans ought not to be using dairy or eating meat in the first place. (nutritionfacts.org, Forks Over Knives, "The China Study", etc.) So, please save the animals from horrific suffering and don't eat chicken or meat or use dairy, period! Eat a whole food plant based diet using beans, whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables. Which is what the poor in Brazil need to go back to eating.

  33. Elevation of profits above morality...Capitalism at its very best and truest self...

  34. The food is unhealthy but without it, you're dead when you don't have money to buy "organic gluten free" goods that you see at Trader Joe's. they don't even have money for regular food, western civilization is only taking advantage of this for money since people will do anything for it. It's good for business and good for keeping people alive despite obesity. At least they get to live for a bit longer, even if they do end up getting diabetes.

  35. False dichotomy. There is a lot of territory between ultra-processed chocolate cereals and sugar laden yogurts on the one hand and the organic fare at Trader Joe's (much of which is actually just fancy processed food) on the other. There are rice and beans, which are wholesome and cheap, for example - and also a big part of the traditional diet in Brazil.

  36. The more distant from urban center populations formerly ate local "natural" foods before this onslaught. The article says their former diet is being replaced by this garbage. It points out that people are too uninformed (&/or getting addicted to these processed foods) to do much (if anything) about it as the comments from locals in the article illustrates. The head of Nestle Corp in the video seems completely happy, satisfied in peddling these non-foods. Does he care? The cost for anti-diabetes drugs in these countries will cut into profits. He probably already owns stock in big pharma.

  37. As long is "it's good for business", let us applaud those who deliberately make people sick, miserable, and dead, all while claiming that they're doing good.

  38. Does not surprise me that Nestle is behind this. Back in the 70's there was a boycott of them due to their efforts to dissuade African women from breast feedting their babies and rather use baby formula, thus resulting in complications because unsanitary water was used to mix the formula. They created the insatiable appetite for bottled water that has resulted in the overwhelming amount of plastic littering our world. Once again Nestle is behind pushing their products at the detriment to humans and our environment.

  39. And don't forget that a couple of years back when California was in the midst of a terrible drouth Nestle exercised its option to buy millions of gallons of water to fill its plastic bottles of "drinkable" water. A true model for the modern American corporation.

  40. The over supply of people have to be kept quiet or they will cause trouble. Look at our inner cities. There is: unemployment, social breakdown, hopelessness and on and on. This is doubly true in the vastly over populated third world. One way to keep things stable is to let them breed and give them cheap food. With nothing much to do all day, you can keep them in line by giving them cheap, worthless, subsidized calories. It works here and it works there as well. In fact if you're not a human it's a great way to keep the unsustainable going. Of coarse its, in the long run, bad for society and nature (this type of agriculture is very hard on the environment) as these systems are all unsustainable in the long run, but who cares? We're making a lot of money now.

  41. I agree with the general principle, but most people's concerns about overpopulation are based on ideas that spur in large part from Thomas Malthus. Dude was a clever thinker for his time and had some good ideas, but his model of the world was way, way off. Which isn't to say overpopulation isn't a problem in some ways, but the focus on poor people, particularly in "first world" countries, is more a matter of Mathus (and the thinkers that built on him) being extremely classist rather than it being good theory. The inner cities in the US aren't a good example of the problems of overpopulation, as there are much more direct causes of the problems you mentioned.

  42. Sorry Jesse. If you can look at the mega cities of 10s of millions and the utter ongoing destruction of species and the environment to support our numbers and NOT see the problems of overpopulation im thinking its you that have missed the point. More than half the people on the planet live on less than 5$/day, yet even at that small amount we are destroying the planet and its other inhabitants. It's not PC to look at the numbers because we have to face uncomfortable facts about freedom, religion, contraception, global warming, women's rights, our failing economic systems, etc, but not facing numbers doesn't make them go away. Look at the pictures in the article. Women, obesity, lots of kids, no jobs, poverty, a decimated environment. show us how this is all improved by adding more people or their condition is not directly influenced by their numbers.

  43. Bread and Circuses for the masses

  44. Ultraprocessed foods are not foods, but formulations… that statement says it all.

  45. So much unnecessary and potentially harmful material goods! But I ponder, what would humans do without the jobs created by businesses pushing (successfully) all this stuff? What if services were to become the new "stuff?" What if jobs were more heavily focused on people doing things for one another? What if the free market were to develop skilled child care in small neighborhood centers, ongoing home cleaning & maintenance, routine preventive family and individual counseling and tutoring and mentoring, etc. If people were to "vote" with their dollars for such things, instead of so much unnecessary material goods, could this work out? Could these service jobs become better-paid and sustainable? Just something to think about.

  46. Local businesses can be created around bringing back health, such as locally grown food and locally made bone broth and fermented foods.

  47. Back in 1798, Thomas Robert Malthus theorized that human population grows exponentially while food supplies grow arithmetically. He foresaw checks to population growth as being any causes that contributed to the shortening of human lifespans. He included in this category poor living and working conditions which might give rise to low resistance to disease, as well as more obvious factors such as disease itself, war, and famine. And, we might add, the insatiable greed of capitalist economic forces.

  48. My father was a noted endocrinologist and about twenty years ago he suggested that there was a coming crisis in Africa over type two diabetes which had been rare up to that time. He said it was entirely due to salt ,fat and sugar being pushed as dietary basics which create a semi addiction to them. I believe he was quite correct. Now you say Brazil and I'm certainly not surprised at all.

  49. Most cultures in the world have local diets which are quite nutritious - I can certainly vouch for normal Indian cuisine. The reason for low nutritional outcomes in India has to do with poor distribution systems as opposed to poor quality of food or cuisine. There is increasing obesity in India especially among the middle classes, but even there, the trend towards eating Indian i.e. healthy - low calorie, low fat, high fibre etc. quickly catches on, despite the best efforts of marketers. In India, I would attribute the increasing rates of obesity to, among other things, increasing urbanization and the nuclear family with two working parents - if no one's at home to cook - then the local McDonalds becomes an automatic choice. A gradual return of traditional families would surely shake the foundations of the corporate food juggernaut.

  50. . . . as if the dire health consequences were not enough, all these non-foods have significant environmental consequences as well due to the waste created by the unnecessary packaging that this junk comes wrapped in and some of the products used in their manufacture (unsustainably harvested palm kernel oil for example). The complicity of the large drug companies goes undiscussed. With the proliferation of such junk food and the attendant health issues, arises a new market for the medications developed to treat them (if people can afford them . . .). Of course all these issues obtain in the US and yet these matters go undiscussed when the Farm Bill comes up for renewal or FDA regulations come under review. Such industry-created disease is a global profit center . . .

  51. Great article and very informative. As a result, I will not purchase any food product, including water, that is manufactured by Nestle and whose profits go directly to Nestle. I also informed Nestle of this directly.

  52. Michael Moss is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller SALT SUGAR FAT: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter formerly with the Times, keynote speaker (see video of 2015 event here), and occasional guest on shows like CBS This Morning, Dr. Oz, CNN The Lead, ATC and Jon Stewart's the Daily Show. Excellent read, informative and quite revealing.

  53. Like they really care. A silly gesture.

  54. Just as cigarette companies have done. Processed food companies are trying to exploit less regulated and educated markets since their products are getting less popular in the U.S. They are playing with human lives to maximize their profits.

  55. Really though, isn't what you are trained to hate is that white people will be making corporate PROFITS from that business, right?

    Instead of hating their ancestors' whiteness, those evil people -
    - EVIL is defined as having a nicer house or car than you -
    - are making money, no matter if more of the profits will go to pay workers and retail clerks than providing a better life for the employers' kids.

  56. Although I live in probably the most attentive country when it comes to putting food on grocery store shelves (Italy), the corporate control of the aisles is suffocating. No escape.

    Boycott these multinationals, particularly Nestle and Unilever, it's our only arm. The people of the global south may not have the wherewithal, but we should.

  57. This is the same Nestlé, let's not forget, that bottled California water while that U.S. state was deep in a painful drought.

    They have no heart, and Unilever isn't reassuring either.

  58. I'm not sure the traditional diet-rice, beans, meat-is all that healthier than instant noodles, cereal and frozen chicken, nor is it any less processed. The difference is the extra calories from the snacks, candies, etc which are part of the Nestle portfolio

  59. The traditional diet is far healthier due to the lack of sugar, whereas junk food is nothing but sugar

  60. Ex I can't imagine how you could pretend that boiling rice and beans and cooking a cut of meat is the same as 'processing' these packaged formulations.

  61. Such sadness after reading this article.

    In the past I was like these folks, reaching for the processed snacks because they were cheap, quick, and fun to binge. But somewhere in the last few years I started educating myself and seeing these brands for what they were -- edible industrial products that weren't filling and tricked the senses with synthetic flavors and fillers. A switch flipped in my mind, and it all seemed suddenly disgusting.

    I taught myself how to cook fast but nutritious meals. I now eat good meat and vegetables, and have lost weight and have so much more energy. I just wish I had figured this out sooner.

    Don't be like I was, Brazilians. Once you're dependent on these packaged good, you'll get hooked on them and lose your relationship with real food, while your health suffers. It's a trap.

  62. Actually, the solution seems rather simple.

    First, Nestle instructs all of their "distributors" about nutrition, diet and wellness.

    The distributors, themselves, then hold periodic meetings with their customers (ala Avon), etal.) and teach them about the same things and Nestle products in specific. They offer free samples of Nestle products to attract people to these nutrition and wellness sessions.

    Eventually, it seems, good (or better) eating habits would be absorbed by the populace leading to less obesity and better health.

    The people benefit... and Nestle entrenches its dominance in the market place.

    Seems like everyone could win.

  63. no different than america where huge food corps push unhealthy processed foods to the uneducated masses. the salt sugar and chemical additives contributing to cancer obesity and diabetes. all to keep big pharma doctors hospitals and food industry shareholders happy. meanwhile the health of a nation lies in ruins. the only safe and healthy diet is also the simplest: organic and plant based. educate yourselves and live longer happier healthier lives.

  64. The model Nestle uses should be the one Tegu, a magnetic block system, uses. I sell these blocks in an art museum shop in Los Angeles with pride. Two American brothers wanted to support the Honduran economy. They manufacture the blocks in Honduras using sustainable wood, non toxic colors and hire Hondurans at a fare wage, promoting them to management positions. They build schools in Honduras and supply US schools with the blocks at a reduced cost! This follows the concept of teach a man to fish! Nestle should be manufacturing healthy products in Brazil and teaching nutrition to the under nurished communities.

  65. Interesting that those opposing Big Junk in Brazil -- public health and government officials, academics -- are named, but the corporations are mostly ID'ed by their brand names, not CEOs, presidents, etc. This shields the responsible actors in the obesity and ill health epidemic, instead funneling rage against the faceless Nestle, e.g.

  66. During my lifetime, I've seen how the greed for money is slowing replacing religion in almost every continent on Earth.

    Instead of focusing on what we eat, we should focus on why we eat the bad foods we do.

    Back in the days 60s and 70s when I grew up, I had a stay at home mom that cooked home meals that were not fried, processed, or with high amounts of sodium or carbs.

    Then came trickle down economics. Average families couldn't afford stay at home moms any more and many started to enter the workforce. Kids still needed to be fed and the quick and easy food industry took off from there. With wages stagnant, even two working parents is now turning into a struggle.

    Today kids will eat more fast food than home cooked meals in their lifetime. With less and less regulations, thanks to the sponsors of "Trickle Down Economics", Corporate America has consolidated competition and its hold on Congress. The buyout of governments will continue across the globe. It won't be long before the UN is replaced with corporate boardrooms.

    No votes, protests, Facebook posts, or venting out on discussion boards will change anything.

    Only one thing will change America. Another Revolution!!

  67. GMOs, herbicides like Glyphosate, nutrient deficient foods resulting from chemically nurtured monocultures that destroy soils - is there any wonder people eat, and eat, and eat and remain hungry for the micronutrients no longer present?

    Big corporations are a vehicle, but we the people make our choices of what to grow, what chemicals, if any, to use and what to buy and to eat. Parasites lurk everywhere and everything is connected. The safest approach is to grow your own food. Next best, since 85% of all food in the markets are GMO and pesticide contaminated, focus on the 15% that are clean.

  68. Count on big business to put profits over the common good. The whole world doesn't need McDonalds or packaged high-fat and sugar-laden foods if you can even call them food since they have no nutritional value. The tobacco industry has done the same thing. as cigarette sales in the US have dwindled (not enough by my standards) they have set their sales targets on Asia and Asia is responding in spades.

  69. According to a recent chart in The New York Times by a measured and seasoned financial journalist, every business industry has been hard hit by the Recession, the apparel and retail wear taking the punch, while tobacco products and liquor are making a come-back.

    In Venezuela, less than 10% of the population can afford to eat. According to an acquaintance in Argentina, pizza has risen to the equivalent of $20, and in America these days if deemed 'thin', you might be regarded as suspect.

  70. Brilliant article. I cried.

  71. meeting on the ground of affectionate understanding ?
    health "damages " ?
    on account of national health services ?
    who cares?
    nutritional programs [W.H.O. and minor organizations] repairing "health damages "?
    only a question of globalization ,or ethics becoming archaic?

  72. What we have is a war between two food systems, a traditional diet of real food once produced by the farmers around you and the producers of ultra-processed food designed to be over-consumed and which in some cases are addictive.

    Very well said.

    The epidemic is just not confined to Brazil. I could see the effect of the Western Fast Food culture overwhelming Indian cities.

    Diet-related illnesses are skyrocketing. With more than 50 million sufferers, India has the largest diabetes population in the world, according to WHO.

    Heart disease has also spiked, becoming the biggest single cause of death.

    India's 1.2 billion population is under 25 years old holds out the possibility of a massive public health burden for years to come.

    Good the UP state government recently banned the sale of fast food in or immediately around government-run schools. Delhi is due to follow suit.

    Indians' genetic makeup is particularly vulnerable to diabetes. It was reported that 26% of the indigenous population to have type 2 diabetes.

  73. One of the most depressing pieces of information in this depressing article is that consumption of fast food in the United States grew 21% from 2011 to 2016.

    We're already the fattest nation in the world, and unlike a place like Brazil, there are few prople here still unaware that fast/processed/packaged food is bad for you. And yet we not only eat it, we've increased our consumption of it by more than 1/5 over the past five years. Why? Because it is designed specifically to appeal to people's innate desire for sweet, fatty, and salty foods; it is perceived as "cool"; and because it is marketed as "easy," "cheap," and "fun" for people who are often overwhelmed by the demands of work, family, and poverty/low pay.

    None of this reckons with the hidden costs of obesity, ill health, and low energy.

    But our government isn't any different than Brazil's in partnering with big agriculture, food conglomerates, and corrupted academe to push the stuff like crack dealers. It takes both knowledge and independence to push back. Unfortunately, not too many of us possess those these days.

  74. A timely piece of emotive journalism.

    An important element not stated here is that not only is there a global transition in terms of weight distribution (from underweight to obese), but there is also a transition in the populations at highest risk of obesity. Previously the obese were almost exclusively the rich, but now as we see in developed nations - and increasingly in the developing world - the obese are those with the least economic circumstances, and therefore, the least ability to choose healthier foods.

    Further, as we are seeing in developed nations, rich regions such as the metropolitan capitals of New York, and economically vibrant regions in California, are agitating for regulation against these hyper-processed, calorie-dense, but relatively nutrient poor foods. As a recognition of the powerful negative impacts of these foods becomes more widespread, these regulations will take on nation-wide appeal in developed countries.

    But, what will happen in the developing world? We regulated the advertising and sales of cigarette manufacturers and developed powerful anti-smoking campaigns that dramatically reduced smoking rates North America and Europe. And yet, the major cigarette conglomerates are still highly profitable, mostly because they have offset these losses by expanding their international operations. Global anti-smoking efforts have been ineffectual so far. What makes us think the global efforts of Nestle and their ilk will be any easier to disrupt?

  75. Processed foods are absolutely destroying our human health globally. Obesity, strokes, heart attacks, and diabetes just to name a few. Unfortunately these nutrient poor, high caloric foods are consumed by the poor. The poor cannot afford healthcare. Then the billions of tax payers dollars are spent to take care of these poor people in their ENTIRE lives.
    Cigarettes are very expensive thanks to the taxes. Fast foods or highly processed foods should be heavily taxes also, because it is very expensive to take care of these sick people caused by these low quality foods.
    Another perfect analogy. People who are bad drivers have to pay higher premiums on their car insurance. People who eat junk, need to pay more because it costs more to take care of unhealthy people.

  76. Human beings, like all other mammals are genetically programmed to consume all available food and calories.

    As the worldwide economy improves and we become ever better at producing inexpensive food and calories, the result is pre-determined. Humans will become fatter and larger.

    If you want skinny people, you need to make them poor or make their food super expensive. Not very attractive choices either.

  77. Amazon will rapidly increase its business in Brazil shipping all that artificial fake food - by air, by road, and obviously by river.

  78. So, just because Nestlé and big industry create jobs by having roving saleswomen and add some vitamins to the junk they sell, now the deserve recognition as heroes? It's a bit like justifying child labour by saying it contributes to the household income.

    I have been living in and out of Brazil for the past 18 years and have noticed the increase in national girth. Sorry, Nestlé, getting Brazilians, and other developing nations, hooked on junk food is not offset by paying poor people a pittance for selling your stuff in the favelas or on the metro of São Paulo.

  79. All of these giant corporations are contributing to the downfall of civilization. The quality of our food creates the quality of our DNA. They should be reigned in and sanctioned. Their products, most of which as mentioned in your article, are formulations, not foods and as such should be taxed out of existence. Unrestrained liberty in this regard has always resulted in excess at the top and poverty and sickness at the bottom. It must be regulated. Drain the swamp. Start with Nestle who has been stealing the worlds water supply and selling it back to them (us), then lying about where they get it. They are the worst!

  80. Nestlé has an unenviable "track record" for recruiting local women for direct selling. The most odious example occurred in so-called "Third World" countries as women in white lab coats peddled infant formula as the new, modern way to feed children vs. breast feeding. "The New Internationalist published an exposé on Nestlé's marketing practices in 1973, "Babies Mean Business," which described how the company got mothers hooked on baby formula."

  81. People often turn to junk food because it's cheap.

    You know what else is cheap? And still available in food deserts? Rice, potatoes, beans, chicken, flour, eggs, and many other nutritious staples.

    The problem: people are too lazy to cook. You don't have to spend ten hours a day making nutritious food from scratch. If you have the money for daily junk food, you have the money for low cost nutritious foods and the pots and pans to make them. For those on public assistance and not working, then they have even more time to cook.

    Foreign corrupt governments that have ruined their soils for large scale vegetable farming should held to account for their mismanagement, not given billions of dollars to squander even more from "climate change redistribution of wealth funds".

  82. These foods are highly addictive and designed to be so. Shaming people for being to "lazy" to cook completely misses the point of the article..and of the epidemic.

  83. The average American is so time crunched they barely have the time to sit down and eat dinner, especially together with others. It is not feasible to have home cooked meals served each and every day. If you haven't noticed, people are overworked today and have longer commutes too. It not only takes time to shop but to prepare healthy fare takes time. Millions on Fridays get the roasted chickens from the supermarkets and throw in a pre-made something from the deli. Or order out. Meal delivery services are an expensive option, good for a single or couple. And of course we can't all afford private chefs.
    It's a time limitation factor. And exhaustion.

  84. @Jim, According to Pew Research, 68% of all Americans are on Facebook. Many Americans are time crunched, I'll give you that, but how many hours are those time crunched Americans on Facebook and other non-essential social media sites at the expense of preparing simple foods that are healthy?

  85. Nestlé is at it again? Some of us still remember the baby milk scandal of the 1970s - where they were sending women into poor countries dressed looking like nurses. They handed out "free samples" of their powdered baby milk. The poor women would use the samples until their own milk dried up - then they had to pay. Babies died because unsanitary water and poor women diluting the formulas to save money. Time for another boycott apparently.

  86. While in university in the early 70's, I noticed an African Magazine called Drum which featured beautiful young African Masai women wearing high fashion clothing. There were many ads from Nestle showing these young women feeding infants with Nestle formula. I have traveled extensively in third world countries and anyone selling selling formula to these young women are surely killing their infants. The problem of getting safe water along is monumental.

    At least the marketers selling sugar water product is clean. I wonder if this is ever discussed by Nestle's board?

  87. I live in Puerto Rico and the folks here are addicted to fast food; therefor, they are obese, diabetic and don't live long. There is very little government education or outreach, only selling more poison to the masses, in Spanish naturally. Finally, all the fast food containers are clogging our waterways and beaches. It's a disaster with no heroes or obvious solutions. Thanks Coca Cola, Nestle, KFC et al.

  88. Michael Moss is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller SALT SUGAR FAT: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter formerly with the Times, keynote speaker (see video of 2015 event here), and occasional guest on shows like CBS This Morning, Dr. Oz, CNN The Lead, ATC and Jon Stewart's the Daily Show.
    In your archives NYT you have a very important document which should be published every week until Americans and everyone who reads you is fully informed about this DEPLORABLE ACT by the Processed Food Industry. It is reprehensible how profits are of superior importance and magnitude over the health of human beings.... the ultimate manifestation of no ethics. Michael Moss' books are a must for everyone to become informed and learn to eat in a truly healthy manner, not as a recommendation from any clinic or laboratory as pharma and medicine are in cahoots with those who make their living, post their earnings from our pain and health demise. Now NESTLE is so proud to be doing it to Brazil, and they will continue to do it so long as no one stops them, and their criminal participants in the PROCESSED FOOD INDUSTRY. Without a diet, only by totally refusing to eat anything processed I lost 85 lbs, became free of diabetes medications now for three years. Michael Moss' book mentioned here is paramount reading and a guide to real healthy eating. Definitely worth the investment. It is a great gift for newly weds and parents to be.

  89. Every time I read the breathless panic about opiods and the stupid criminal culture we allowed by over regulating pain medication to the point of buying billions of dollars worth of 3rd world heroin and other jungle factory poison drugs and the people they kill, I think of the unregulated legalized killing we allow in sugar, salt and fats.
    Legalize clean codiene, and kill the underworld economy and treat it like alcohol, then admit the mass deaths created by suicide diets at incredibly low prices and really save some lives.
    McDonalds doesn't have to be so toxic, nor do the foods mentioned in the article, these are lazy products with massive marketing budgets. Want to save lives then admit that our diets, even in our middle class diet is more toxic than, tobacco, alcohol and opiods combined.
    Start by making Iowa the 5-6-7 primary state and we can save 2-3 million lives by reducing high fructose by just 8-12%.

  90. One of the intelligent and knowledgeable opinions I have ever in the NYT's.
    Well done.

  91. Western Food companies and Tobacco companies are the new colonial powers enslaving people by providing convenient low priced products which have toxic ingredients. It is time to fight the companies whose products poison people around the world. Excess sugar, salt and unsaturated fat consumption has to be reduced significantly (even by 75%) by every over weight individual. Also the overall food consumption has to be reduced and the emphasis should be on balanced diet with greater consumption of fruits and vegetables. To push healthy eating, health department should not only emphasize sanitation and hygiene in restaurants but also serving foods with balanced nutrition in their portions of food. Population control is also needed all over the world to ensure adequate medical care for all with systematic education on health matters so that foods contributing to obesity and health problems are flagged as being harmful and taxed heavily just like tobacco products. Keeping air and water clean has to remain a top priority along with a balanced diet in appropriate proportions.

  92. Nestle, a Swiss based corporation aggressively marketed breast milk substitutes, particularly in developing countries, largely the poor. Nestle was well aware their baby formula did not have the nutrients needed to sustain a heathy immune system in infants. Nestle continues to capitalize on the impoverished populations of the world without a drop of concern for humanity and it's future.
    Boycott all Nestle products, now.

  93. Crimes against humanity is a pretty broad umbrella. The shade from it seems to definitely fall on big junk food companies specically targeting innocent men, women and children. Phosphorus bombs and flaming hot Cheetos probably look practically identical anyway. I can only imagine they probably taste about the same. Trying to get the red dye of a Cheeto off from tounges and fingers is probably a lot harder than burning phosphorus as well.

  94. We have seen what processed food has done to our Hawai’ian culture.

    Hawai’i has both the healthiest citizens in the US and the unhealthiest. Asian and Caucasian are slim as they eat fresh produce and treat all flesh protein (beef, chicken, pork) as a condiment like in stir-fry. Plus we walk everywhere, swim, surf, and garden 365 days a year. Temp moderated by being surrounded by ocean it never gets above 88 degrees or below 62. Then we have trade winds out of the Northwest to cool things down.

    But the Polynesian population has been hit HARD by modern culture. The Hawai’ians arrived in the 4th century, then Tongans, Samoans after that. They threw nets to catch fish, grew taro to make poi, and ate breadfruit, mangoes, papaya. They walked everywhere even through mountains to get to the north side of islands.

    No more. We have 1.2 million vehicles on an island (Oahu) with 1 million people. Huge SUVs, Hummers, trucks...for show AND to handle the Hawai’ians who now weigh up to 650 pounds. Typical meals are loku moku: 2 fried eggs on three scoops white rice with brown gravy, then “mixed plate” for rest of day: fried chicken/fried beef, spaghetti, beef stew, 3 scoops white rice ON ONE PLATE.

    White rice is cheap and most people eat 6-8 cups a day. The glycemic index is sky high leading to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

    Hawai’ians only live to age 45-50. Those 650# barely to age 33. Obesity is NOT seen as “ugly.”Beautiful hula dancers over 300#.

    New culture is deadly.

  95. The lifespan for Americans is increasing annually and has been doing so for about 100 years despite junque food. Worry about the birds and beasts whose habitats are destroyed by companies producing food for the not so smart homo sapiens When there were famines, obesity was useful... Now less so..

    CHOICE.

  96. Liberals love to look a gift horse in the mouth. If government programs worked, these kids wouldn’t have been starving to death before. These companies literally saved these kid’s lives. Oh, wait! Some of them are overeating now and it’s the fault of “big business.” Tax the people!

  97. Providing foods full of sugar and chemicals is not saving anyone's life - it is creating epidemics of diabetes, hypertension and an assortment of other sugar-caused diseases, leading to miserable lives for people who have very little to begin with, including access to healthcare. Shame on these companies for making money off the poor.

  98. The lack of information in Brazil is amazing even in big cities like Sao Paulo.
    I am Brazilian and in a question of a year I saw the groceries stores selling protein bars full of sugar so unhealthy and most of people don't know it. This big companies like Nestle and Kellog's are selling them as a healthy snack. Poison!
    Brazil has the most amazing vegetables and fruits in this planet and shouldn't eat such a degraded "food". When you search for vitamins in Brazil like Vitamins C, Vitamins B1 or at least a potassium tablets for the hot weather you can't have it as they consider vitamins as drugs and not as a nutrition. The Health Counsel of Medicine Brazilian launches rules impeding Brazilians to consume antioxidants like melatonin or even a potassium tablets very good for people living in a hot weather like Brazil and vitamins for them is prohibited impeding people to have other choice. But they approve very low quantity of vitamins in the multivitamins sold by Centrum which is in my point of view just something, better than nothing. This is what happens in Brazil! If you take 3g of Vitamin C a day people get scary and surprised as they think it will damage. When a tv show young lady made a cooking show about healthy food etc, she is daughter of the retired Cultural Minister of Brazil Gilberto Gil she was very criticized by Brazilians. She predicted and it was correct and Brazil is becoming a land of fat people eating junk food and a lot of cookies and sodas.

  99. Sadly, we have the same situation in the US: people buying garbage foods full of sugar thinking they are healthy because the label says 'organic' or 'natural' or 'full of vitamins'. They lack the knowledge to check the nutrition label for sugar content, which for many of these 'healthy' foods exceeds 30 grams per serving. Your standard ice cream (Turkey Hill, Eddy's, etc) has about 15 grams.

  100. Oh goody! We can extract oodles of dollars making people sick. Let's go for it!

  101. This article saddened me deeply. The US has encouraged unfettered capitalism at the expense of the health of its citizens and the rest of the world. It is morally repugnant.

  102. To really fix it, we, in the US, need to develop and export solutions that actually work. Since the American founding, wealthy planters treated the soil like a slave, using human slaves, causing depression and war, and the epidemic of adiposity and disease we now endure and propagate to the world. It is a natural consequence of our heritage.

    One of the good things about the Internet is that solutions freely abound. You just have to care, study, practice, rinse and repeat. A few examples: Human nutrition: Nina Teicholz, Gary Taubes, Ivor Cummins, Jason Fung. Regenerative farming practices: Allan Savory, Will Harris. The content is readily available on youtube and elsewhere.

    If I understand these ideas, I am positive many others know much more. Sorry NYT, but you are very late to the game. You have perpetuated the low-fat, government guidelines forever. Your conventional reporters still do it! Shame on you.

  103. PERFECT TIMING!!!!! blue bottle coffee just sold out 68% shares ($425 million) to nestlè this week. how perfect for this hipster -cool -as -can -be coffee shop now be part of the evils of the world.
    anyone in brooklyn or san francisco standing in line for their bluebottle coffee should think long and hard about the politics of where their money goes and the impact on the world before they buy again.

  104. Pretty soon Nestle will be selling jade vaginal eggs and GP will be hawking cacao facials.
    It certainly looks like a win-win in Brail. WOMEM get empowered with "well-paying" jobs, get to know their neighbors, travel, get exercise and get to be independent contrators. The rest of the world gets bossa nova.
    The enefits as I see it are"
    more jobs
    more cloth manufacturing for bigger clothes
    less pressure on politicians to fix what's wrong with their contries
    more doctors and nurses employed
    more profits for drug mfgrs because there is better living thru chemistry
    eventually stabilizes population growth lthrough early deaths
    obesity reduces travel to failing malls
    bigger houses, bigger furniture, more furniture all sustained by clearing the rain forests for wood need for all this
    Benefits to die for.
    obrigado americano

  105. Can someone please tell NYTimes Brazil alwasy had "Western-style" food stardands , since it IS IN THE WEST ?

    This was hilarious "Western-style processed food and sugary drinks to the most isolated pockets of Latin America".

    Latin America is not in Asia or Africa. How can we see such a mistake in one of the most famous newspapers in the world ?

  106. I don't think they were referring to the western hemisphere, but to developed/first world nations which have been exposed to processed garbage in their food systems for decades. The remote areas of Brazil highlighted in this article were pristine food-wise until recently.

  107. Traveling to Costa Rica for over 25 years and living here now for 10 years, my husband and I have spoken about and seen first hand what this very sad article illustrates. Our area was once a "blue zone" where traditional diet, work ethic and healthy water contributed to 90+ year lifespan of many, many people here. Now, our little market's shelves are filled with packaged, processed junk food- aisle after aisle. We are among the very few who ask for and order vegetables, brown rice, whole grains, tucked away in the back and sold mainly to the extranjeros. It is having tragic impacts on the health of Costa Ricans and their health care system. Yet another of so many political and economic generated crises inflicted on the poor. Thank you for including a Spanish language version. I will share with as many people here that I can.

  108. During travels within Europe my family has noticed that junk food seems to be priced extraordinarily higher than regular, healthier foods. The Doritos, Pringles, sodas, etc. are super expensive yet the cheese, bread, meats, fruit and veg all seem much lower than in the US. Therefore it's obtainable for the average Euro citizen to eat well. By keeping the junk food higher priced makes a healthier society. Tax the heck out of it, so no one will buy it.
    For instance, we bought a week's worth of provisions for breakfast/lunches in Poland for around 15 US dollars. This included meat, eggs, yogurt, bread, fruits, veggies, meat, juice, milk and cereal. All really great, high quality foods were enjoyed daily for an entire week!

  109. All junk food items should have a mandatory Surgeon General's WARNING to counter the obesity-diabetes-metabolic-syndrome-inducing junk-food-corporate-industrial-complex covering the vast majority of processed foods high in sugar, salt or starch, which would likely cover nearly every item sold in a convenience store and a significant portion of grocery store items.

    (WARNING: This product is unnaturally high in sugar (and/or salt and/or starch) and regular consumption of it in the absence of other healthy food will likely contribute toward obesity, diabetes and other serious health problems).

    (WARNING: This foodlike product was expertly contrived and concocted by food scientists specializing in corporate profits; excess consumption is harmful to human health)

    (WARNING: This sugar-based product is slow-motion poison when consumed on a regular basis)

    (WARNING: Consumption of this product and products like it have made millions of people obese, diabetic and disabled)

    These products are little better than cigarettes, but not much.

    These products are known health hazards.

    It is the government's basic responsibility to educate and protect its citizens against these known corporate poisons and carcinogens.

    The government of Brazil (and the USA) has abandoned its basic responsibilities in deference to corporate corruption, poison and psychopathic greed.

    Human beings deserve the poisonous truth.

  110. Corporations are run by psychopaths more concerned about money than people, and our government representatives, also psychopaths, allow this. Unaware, uneducated people will die and the rich will get richer. Could Darwin ever have guessed the fittest of our species would be psychopaths whose main interest is the accumulating wealth despite slowly killing others? Does the GOP "health" plan fall into the same category? This is a very sad time in history and earth itself may not survive this appalling lack of morals.

  111. PERFECT warning labels !

  112. Whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice, and potatoes are high in starch. Populations where whole grains and/or tubers feature prominently in their diets do not have many overweight individuals. There is considerable evidence of the benefits of eating whole plant foods, which include high-starch foods such as grains and tubers.

    Everyone here seems to recognize the contribution of sugar to poor health, yet many are praising the virtues of fat. There are two obesity-promoting aspects of dietary fat. First, fat has nine calories per gram, so it is incredibly easy to ingest too many calories eating foods containing moderate or high amounts of fat. Second, fat, like sugar, is very palatable; people want to eat it, a lot. In fact, I would argue that the fat is even more of a draw than sugar. Many junk foods are high in both fat and sugar, while others are high in fat and starch. Almost all are high in fat. Examples include pizza, hot dogs, chicken wings, french fries, potato chips, ice cream, cookies, and cake. Soda is a notable exception, but because it is a beverage its calories are consumed differently than the equivalent calories in solid food. And it is carbonated, flavored, and usually caffeinated. Sugar-water itself is not much of attraction for most people.

    So in short, the problem remains as it has always been, sugar, fat and salt.

  113. When the legal environment limited future growth, and anti-smoking groups increased in the U.S., the tobacco companies began much more aggressive international marketing. They began to export death.
    Now, food companies are exporting obesity world-wide. Developing countries are now on a path to increased heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

  114. " But Sean Westcott, head of food research and development at Nestlé, conceded obesity has been an unexpected side effect of making inexpensive processed food more widely available.
    “We didn’t expect what the impact would be,” he said.

    There is something criminal about this. Spreading dietary poison around the globe wrapped up in fancy packaging and feigning surprise at the results. Rather than famine and starvation, the rest of the world will *Westernize* and become obese with chronic conditions like hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. The trade-off: A quicker death from malnutrition for a slower toxic death-- from malnutrition.

  115. The author needs a crash course in diet that isn't tainted by the past 50 years of government and industry misinformation. Saturated fat is healthy, not unhealthy. Those french fries are not unhealthy due to fat and salt but because of the starch (carbohydrates) without fiber. In addition to carbs without fiber, consuming too much cholesterol is an issue. Only animals make cholesterol and only animals need cholesterol. If we don't eat cholesterol, our bodies will make it. Long-term health problems arise when we don't consume cholesterol in moderation. Some people's bodies make too much cholesterol, and they should be careful about dietary cholesterol. Eating more than even a smidgeon of sugar per day leads to increased LDL (bad cholesterol) production. Fiberless carbs also increase inflammation. Inflammation together with bad cholesterol yields cardiovascular disease.

  116. Privation does tend to prompt over-indulgence. This is the human condition. Blame the corporations, though, as they would also be blamed were they to refuse to do business in Brazil.

  117. This is a sad story, and another occasion to wish that people who are up in arms (some literally) against governmental power would feel just a flicker of alarm at how corporate power can mess up lives around the world.

  118. I don't understand. My parents grew up poor in the USA and neither was obese. They raised 4 children in poverty and none of us are obese.

    My wife's parents were raised in wealthy families and they were not obese. They raised three children in wealth and none of them are obese.

    My wife and I, from very different economic backgrounds, are raising two children in upper middle class society and neither one of them is obese.

    How do American companies get the blame for obese people in other countries when three generations of Americans in two vastly economic classes managed to avoid obesity.

    Everyone has a choice. We are the products of our choices, not some grand conspiracy of "Big Business".

    Jeesh. Personal accountability knows no boundaries.

  119. Obesity became an epidemic in the developed world in the 80s, so that would explain the lack of obesity in your and your parents' generations - the highly processed garbage simply didn't exist back then, and meals were made form scratch. And before the 'but we had twinkies back then' responses come in, keep in mind portion sizes were far smaller in the 40s/50s/60s, as was the sugar content of such foods, as compared to today. Your childrens' lack of obesity could be due to a number of factors, such as the knowledge of which foods to avoid or a genetic predisposition of not gaining weight from eating processed foods. So sorry, but looking at your three generations doesn't take the processed food companies off the hook for poisoning billions of people around the world.

  120. Great article. Highly processed and sugar-laden foods: an idea that's as old as the hills. Give people an easy way out, and they’ll take it. These foods are tasty and take little time to prepare, so people go for it. Food companies are more than happy to scoop up the profits. It’s sort of like how Donald Trump appeals to his voters: just turn off your brains and trust me to do the right thing; I know what’s best for you. Choosing wisely, whether it comes to food or anything else, takes hard work and time. Hopefully this article will help spur efforts in that direction.

  121. People in foreign countries used to mock Americans for their obesity problem.
    Now it seems that Americans are taking revenge thru fast-food joints.

  122. I think a good rule of thumb is to not eat things that have bar codes on them.

  123. Unbridled capitalism will destroy the world through selfishness, corruption, spreading obesity and diabetes, heart disease, cancer, et al. In sum, profits above people. Whether it be the tobacco companies or the food-related mega corporations like Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, Sygenta, Cargil, Nestle, and beyond, the corps. are controlling societies. And, now that the U.S. supreme court has made their ruling ("citizens united"), corps. can legally buy as many politicians as they want, to get the laws that they want, to sell all the poisons they want, here and overseas.

    Somehow, I'm reminded of a gun dealer here in Indiana. In his TV ads, he always had a big smile as he said, "I don't want to make any money. I just love to sell guns." In turn, the food corps. deny that profit is their motive. They say they simply want to save the world from starvation.

  124. There is just something inherently wrong with business based on promoting illness in kids and poor people. Wonder what the diet is for Nestle executive's kids?

  125. The pharma companies that sell cholesterol and diabetes medications must be ecstatic. What an amazing symbiotic relationship they have forged.

    I just came back from my local food store. The entire lobby is lined with bagged salty snacks and high sugar processed cereals. The first thing that people see when they push their carts in the store and so convenient to impulsively throw in a bag or two.

    I also made a stop at the local drug store. Half of the store now has shelves full of junk food, salty snacks and candy. You have to walk by all of them in order to get to the health supplies pushed deeper into the store.

    People have let themselves be manipulated by large companies with huge budgets aimed at finding psychological and physical ways to create addiction to their products.

    Not me. I haven't bought processed snacks or foods in years. Which probably accounts for the face that, at 60 years of age, all of my blood work results are in the normal range.

    I seem to remember that it was the late 80's when I first started seeing ready-to-take-home and heat up meals at the local grocery store. Before that, it was always pretty standard to buy the things you need to create and cook a meal at home (other than a limited supply of frozen dinners.)

    I am saddened when I see my adult children buying pretty much all of their meals at Wawa's and other fast food places. I see a bleak future for them health-wise.

  126. I recently started volunteering at a weekly spot that gives away free, local, organic produce -leftover from a farmers market. There is an abundance of food and it is hard to leave with less than 10 pounds of fruits and vegetables. This is a situation where people have access to free, organic, whole food -and access to nutritional information- and some of them show up fat.

    The only science that I am aware of that was not paid for by the same entity selling food came from T. Colin Campbell in The China Study, which the NYT did a story on a long time ago. According to Dr Campbell, people in areas that do not have high populations of fat people now have higher populations of fat people because they are eating a western diet -made up of meat, dairy and egg products, which are high in fat. It looks like this story compliments his findings.

  127. The current "western diet" is junk food. The undernourished obesity you see on the streets of non-California America is scarecely from meat, dairy, and eggs. The same diet is what this article describes. The power of American advertizing and Nestlé's aggressive distribution of poison, is killing not only us (think of the ACA dealing with diabetes, a widespread disease because of sweet junk food), but also others. Not eggs and milk.

  128. Not to mention blanketing the earth even further in plastic bags and plastic packaging.

  129. Nestles~

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    What? Is greed the only driving force behind profit over people, no matter the cost to those of us that "support" your business. Well, maybe not willing....sugar is a drug isn't it?

  130. Does anyone recall the CEO of Oscar Meyer/Kraft/Heinz who admitted that he would never give his own children "Lunchables"? There's a secret among these people, don't ever consume your own garbage. OK for other's kids though.

  131. Oh please---is there no personal responsibility for anything any more?

  132. Probably not in the board room.

  133. The problem here is economic and this article ignores it. It's not just convenience that's driving this, it's cost per calorie. You want to stop it, then put tariffs on imported junk foods based on their content. Oh the government doesn't care about the people. Gee whiz, then let's blame business. Apparently the government of Brazil is too busy bribing each other to worry about the people. Nestle makes junk. No one is forcing these folks to eat the junk. Expecting corporations to put "the common good" over profit shows an utter lack of understanding of capitalist economics. Instead, let's do what the USSR did and have a government food regime in Brazil and watch the people starve to death.

  134. People have a choice what they put in their mouth. If I ate and drank everything I wanted I would probably weigh 300 pounds. Individuals need to take responsibility for their actions and be held accountable for the choices they make. These companies are only producing what people want.

  135. What could a person control more than what he/she eats? The tenor of the article and most of the comments is astounding--it is all "big agriculture's" or "big food's" fault. Not one suggestion that people should bear any responsibility for what and how much they eat. I fully agree that too many farming industries receive subsidies that should stop. Nonetheless, those subsidies don't force someone to eat junk food, to eat more calories than he/she burns, and to make a slew of unhealthful choices. At some point, it is infeasible to blame someone else for all of your troubles.

  136. It is the children who are at risk if they grow up on a diet of junk food. At the beginning of the last century some witnesses wrote that nursery food of tepid indigestible porridge was revolting, the young would bolt out the door to forage for food in the garden, growing weedy and green.

    Sufferers reminiscing on childhood reflections began to write small cookbooks with recipes for their children. Healthy, affordable and satisfying, appealing to children.

    Potatoes, rice and other staple essentials like lentils still exist. A child in the 50s eating a Mars bar in the afternoon in Europe? A photo of this might be taken of this curiosity, and perhaps the first question to ask is have any of the commentators here known hunger in childhood.

    Who is responsible for supplying junk food to developing nations, and has anyone ever met a young person who wants to grow up to be a drug-dealer? Children are apt to imitate adults in many ways, and if Dad is eating fried chicken nuggets in the middle of the day, it may seem reasonable.

    Our former Administration has made a generous, caring and healthy endeavor in teaching good and affordable nutrition to our children, regardless of their social and cultural background, who will have a choice of sharing the above regimen, not only their families later, but with their parents at home.

    Let us begin by sharing this message again with 'Big Business', and challenging as it may be, our Food Trade Industry to create healthier food.

  137. I get your point, but as someone who grew up poor and working class in the Bronx, it's just not that easy. Kids eat what their parents feed them. Poor and working class people typically eat what is cheap and available. Also, the poor are always targets for misinformation. Brazilians are being told that Nestle is providing quality, nutritious food, as well as decent job opportunities. And as you can see from the people interviewed in the article, some of them don't seem to see the correlation between their processed food diet and their health problems. When I was younger, we believed formula, sugar laden cereals and low nutrient boxed foods were okay because they were low fat. My mom was always thin, but drank Pepsi and ate packaged snacks and ice cream all the time. Most of what I know about diet I learned on my own as an adult out of necessity because I did not want to end up like many of my fat and/or chronically ill family members.

    And when it comes to fresh produce I have long believed that poor neighborhoods get the rejects for a reason. The produce in my grandmothers neighborhood in the Bronx is awful and expensive. As a result, cheap canned and boxed goods fly off the shelves. I my current neighborhood in Queens, its the opposite.

  138. How ironic is the name of the town Fortaleza: Strength.

  139. I don't know the history of food insufficiency in Brazil. supposedly there was great inequality in food distribution in Cuba pre=Castro who instituted rationing... as we had here during WWII.

    There is no wheat grown in Brazil or any tropical placed. The main carb cassava which has to be prepared correctly to avoid cyanide poisoning. Rice and beans, quinoa and beans -- not that appealing to most of us.

    Perhaps the commercial food products need to have vitamins and fiber\ added. No one's diet IMO is perfect... some are much luckier than others.

    How do we feed very poor people? Often they do NOT have a plot of land or chickens to lay eggs for them? often they have way too many children. Fewer and fewer jobs are available.

    A new economic model will have to be invented-- distribution of funds from the gov thru people not banks. abolish stock markets... New forms of entertainment and ways to keep people out of trouble must be found.

    Meantime, we need to discuss not climate change but population control.

  140. Rice / quinoa and beans not appealing? I beg to differ. I eat them almost every day, with great pleasure!

  141. Home-cooked beans with grains on a daily basis: Black beans with rice. Red beans with rice. Chili with cornbread. Chili with toast. Bean-pasta casserole. Bean soup, split pea soup, lentil soup.

    Taste great, more filling.

  142. Nestle has brought a terrible first-world problem - low nutrition, junk-food diet, which leads to obesity and diabetes - to the third world. Brazil was better off with a traditional diet.

  143. Western food companies didn't save Brazilians from starvation by introducing junk food. They wouldn't be doing business in Brazil if there were no demand.

  144. At one point in the article they reference the tobacco industry and that's immediately what springs to mind upon learning about the relationship between "Big Food" and "Big" Countries, such as Brazil. Brazil's situation resembles that which we have in the US with these same entities, except we are worse off and further along in the relationship. There is a segment of the Brazilian market that is more knowledgeable about the pernicious effects of these fake foods and they enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, regular exercise at gyms or outdoors, and indulge in the latest wellness crazes. But for vast swaths in both countries there are ample targets to plump and pump funds from and they may well die without having discovered the true culprits, instigators, and profiteers of their disease. That's sad, good marketing, and a the end result coordinated campaign to make money. These companies are 100% fully aware of what they are doing, why they are doing it, and how to go about it in the most effective way. They are killing people. I wonder what type of remorse or guilt they feel, or if they find creative ways to rationalize their behavior. In any event the result is the same.

  145. Does the NYT think western food companies force fed Brazilian's junk food? Let's hear from some of the people in Brazil regarding what they think.

  146. No, they're not force fed the junk food, they're just lured into buying it for themselves and their children because they're led to believe through outright lies that this stuff isn't that bad because it has been fortified with vitamins and minerals. They are also not made aware that the younger the age of exposure to sugar/junk food, the more likely addiction to such foods will occur.

  147. Horrifying. These companies are spreading bad health and shortening peoples lives. None of this is about nutrition. It's about making money at someone else's expense.

  148. Next you will be telling me smoking is bad for your health. It's just capitalism doing what it does best. Got to think of those CEO and board salaries and parachutes and the demands of the shareholders. No one is making them eat this stuff.

  149. When a choice of what can be eaten is being made by stores, featuring shelf after shelf, stocked with processed foods, and there is little promotion of the health benefits of eating better foods that likely cost more, then a trap has been steadily built to capture profit, simultaneously promoting an unhealthy lifestyle that adversely affects a society over time.

    Nestle is only one player that has caused social harm through its business that is focused upon the money. There is no push back because, like most governments – including America's – there is little effective promotion of health concerns and many positions in government that regulate health or food are staffed by people with industry connections and bias.

  150. I found the back story on page 2 in the print paper interesting; how to discuss obesity with obese people is a problem right there. Teens fall apart at the slightest suggestion there is something wrong with their looks; many moms explicitly do not say a word about food and weight for this reason, instead continually refer to their girls as "beautiful." To criticize, however gently and helpfully, is a big no-no; the overweight know they are fat. We are moving into a culture of real "fat acceptance," where designers and bloggers - not just food conglomerates - are saying obesity is just another body type.

  151. As if Brazilians haven't eaten junk food before. Easy to blame corporations for the gluttony of some. I guess in Brazil they don't sell sugar, cookies, chips, etc.

  152. Gluttony of some? As seen by the dramatic rise of obesity (particularly in children) in the last 20 years, clearly the cookies and chips sold in Brazil prior to Nestle's arrival was not as available or consumed as widely as the junk food of today. No one was feeding their children ramen noodles and soda every day , they were eating a diet of mostly grilled meat, vegetables, rice and beans. Likewise, I would think the indigenous sweets did not contain anything close to the amounts of sugar and processed chemicals as the ones from Nestle.

  153. Maybe we should airdrop a bunch of Nestle products all across N Korea. Throw in some Nikes , Levis and a few Taylor Swift cd's add some chocolate who could resist that!

  154. Look at any business article, and you'll see that the US and Europe are not growth markets. In order to keep increasing sales, every single sector and business has to push hard into Asia and Africa. With automation, not long til we reach the end of growth, since fewer jobs means less money to spend everywhere.

  155. Outstanding reporting. Thank you.

  156. These corporations should be placed in the same class of predators as the drug cartels. When I retired from the Foreign Service I attended a seminar put on by the State Dept. to prepare retirees for what came next. One consultant asked the group one morning if we knew the most toxic thing we could take into our bodies. Her answer: cola drinks. In addition to the obscene sugar content, sodas such as Coca-Cola contain enough phosphoric acid to cause the beginning of osteopenia in teenaged female athletes, who might consume several liters a week. And this was in 1995. They are killing us for profit.

  157. Elizabeth Carlisle in Chicago writes that people turn to junk food because they're too lazy to cook. But in a society where both parents have to work paid jobs, where the number of work hours demanded by employers has steadily increased, and where work schedules often change arbitrarily at the employer's whim, how can people find the time to cook from scratch?

  158. They found the time for centuries before junk food existed, the problem now is parents don't realize how toxic this 'food' is and think it's no big deal to give their children soda every day. The companies market this garbage as healthy and fortified with vitamins and minerals, so the parents assume this cancels out any adverse health effects.

  159. They found the time during all those centuries to cook because they mostly grew the food themselves. That was their life--planting, harvesting, and cooking. Or later on, in Brooklyn in the 1950s, a simple clerk like my father earned enough to support a wife and three children. His take-home pay was $70/week. On that, my mother paid rent and utilities, and bought fresh food at the local farmer's market (there was one on Schenectady Avenue) and the local butcher and cooked from scratch.

  160. Sorry, still don't accept your argument. People have been living off the farm for decades/centuries, thereby not growing their own food, and if junk food disappeared tomorrow, they would go back to eating meat/fish/vegetables/fruit/healthy carbs. As long as you have a stovetop or oven, It takes less than half an hour to cook a meal, and with no sugar in the diet, you need far less food because sugarless food does not make you overeat, whereas sugar causes an exponential increase in appetite (hence, the obesity epidemic). Having a parent home full-time is wonderful, but the lack of one isn't an excuse for kids to eat meals of fried chicken, ramen noodles and soda every day.

  161. Evil corporations. Evil share holders. If you are invested in stocks, you should know what those companies are doing. Be a responsible share holder.

  162. This really made me so angry. Most of their products are as addictive and destructive as heroin. I guess Nestle felt that they weren't reaching enough people and decided to go into an untapped market. Repulsive.

  163. you summed up the situation perfectly: the developed world is waking up to the realization that sugar is as or more addictive than many narcotics, so the corporations move on to the developing world with their lies and propaganda. If Big Tobacco can do it, why not Nestle?

  164. Isn't the hypocrisy of this muckraking front page indictment of first-world corporations for profiting by luring impoverished third-world people, especially women and children, to consume attractively packaged but inherently pathogenic food a bit much, given the several ads and articles in today’s paper glamorizing grotesque obesity, such as, the Body Hero ad (page ST 7) and the Vows feature article (ST1 & 13) on the wedding of two female ministers?

  165. I find this article, together with its conclusions, and Times reader comments utterly ridiculous.

    Junk food is popular because it's the best bang for the buck. It's nutritious when consumed at the appropriate amount. It's delicious because it's packed with flavors that are hard wired into our DNA. It's cheap because of the massive efficient supply chain that the "junk" food industry has perfected over the years - cheap, flavorful, nutritious.

    When you are biting on $10/bag oven baked organic potato chips from Whole Foods, reading the Times, you should perhaps think out of your own little self indulgent box.

  166. Neither the junk food written about in the article, nor the $10 oven-baked potato chips form Whole Foods are healthy, in any amount. Sugar, especially when consumed by someone previously unexposed to it, is highly toxic, and as the article documents, leads to skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease, just to name a few.

  167. The end does not justify the means. There is no justification for unethical corporate behaviour, even if the goal might be itself laudable. Feeding the world with cheap and unhealthy food, especially to children, doesn't justify whatever intentions these big corporations might have. These unethical tactics will themselves be proved sometime the savage and deadly outcome they have caused. I do not expect government to take any actions soon, as it has been the case with tobacco products after more than hundred years of dead and tragedy. What I expect is the increase in spending of Big Food in third world countries to penetrate their markets and do the same thay have done to developed countries. Shame on them all!!!!!

  168. @Avi:
    I find your comment ridiculous. Sugary junk food might be enjoyable, but it is never nutritious in any amount. It's "delicious" because it is specifically and painstakingly engineered to be addictive without delivering any nutrition.

  169. Still the US is number 1 in obese people and extremely obese. When you travel around the world that's the sad conclusion.

  170. How bigoted to assume Brazilians are too stupid to tell the difference between junk food and non-junk? food! Also I saw no evidence that Brazilians are being force-fed this food.

  171. The article shows how the big food companies have targeted Brazil due to its large and remote ('untapped') population and their use of saleswomen to get into the most out of reach slums. They have the saleswomen promote the nutrients of the sugar-loaded foods, while leaving out the part about fortification being next to useless when combined with tons of sugar and other toxins. This leads many people (in Brazil and other countries) to the false conclusion that this junk (eg, baby formula loaded with sugar) is good for them and their children. In addition, people previously not exposed to sugar are far more prone to develop its worst side effects - this explains why Native Hawaiians, Native Americans, Africans and Asians are more prone to developing diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc, than those of Caucasian descent, who have been exposed to sugar for many generations.

  172. The last photo in this important article on the business of junk food reminded me of a young visitor who was here earlier, and told me that she could not eat sweets but asked if I had any soda. The truth of the pudding is that if I had the skills of Harry Potter, a goblet of cola would have been presented to her like magic.

    Under her arm she carried a large bag of potato chips, and although it is none of my business, I know that this is only what her family can afford. They all work, and there is nobody at home to make nutritious meals. If I were nine again, I would be delighted and satisfied to have pizza for dinner and ice-cream.

    You wake up in the morning and find yourself in possession of four hungry children with an empty piggy-bank. At the entrance of the supermarket, the 8 glazed doughnuts for $2.99 are placed in the cart, without blinking. A friend from Latin America and I have debated the issue. She feels people are being lazy. How about tired?

    Is it impossible for 'Big Business' to start producing appealing and nutritious food for all ages at low-cost? We are not tooth-picks here in America either. Junk Food has become a global issue with serious health issues, and when I was nine, a childhood friend and I devoured Nestle chocolate bars in Spain before our parents were awake. Wonderful, and much better than beef liver and spinach!

    'Nutrition Engineers' to find a way to improve our Global Diet. Giving lectures on the hazards of junk food is cheap.

  173. But indians are prone to obesity anyway, aren't they? And Brazil is basically a mestizo country.

  174. 'Prone" doesn't mean "inevitable." Look at pictures of their ancestors, all thin as rails.

  175. Remember 30 years ago when Nestle was encouraging 3rd world women to give up breast feeding in order to use their baby formula?

  176. This is so sad and outrageous on so many levels.

    Forget about "Nestle". That is just a corporate name owned by anonymous shareholders. The villains are Sean Westcott and his boss Mark Schneider. To them "growth" of their conglomerate is an end unto itself. Nothing else matters. Kids weighing twice what they should, surging diabetes, and plastic trash and bottles filling the lakes and ocean are all just part of doing business to these immoral hacks.

    Is it worth is Mssrs Schneider and Westcott? Really? You are probably very capable people at some level. This is what you want to do with your lives?

    I really can't believe it is. That is too depressing to accept.

  177. For Nestle (and other companies) to disseminate their lethal and addictive products in naïve markets after other markets have been saturated and exploited is to be expected, this is just what Big Tobacco did and it is still working out really well for them. However, to see the condescending smile and the glib voice of a Nestle functionary as he informs us with a straight face that Nestle “solved the problem of food security [note: the problem of food security, not of food insecurity] but in doing that, we did not anticipate what the impact would be”, is quite remarkable. Perhaps as the head of global product and technology Mr. Westcott should have anticipated the impact of garbage ‘food’ on humans, because the deleterious effects of this type of pseudo-nutrition has long been known. I have worked as a pediatrician in the Bronx 20 years ago and already then it was obvious that parents, industry, and politicians failed these children. To hear someone pretend to be surprised by this in the year 2017 is just repulsive. And lowering the salt content by a fraction or reducing the saturated fats by 20% by 2025 is not going to cut it either. These evil companies should be taxed out of existence, yet all the taxes we could get from them would never be able to fully address the environmental and health related damages they cause.

  178. Having traveled to many developing countries in Latin America and Asia I can fully relate to this story. I have seen how Pepsi and Coca Cola have infiltrated even some of the most remotest areas in the country. I distinctly remember a specific incident that serves as a metaphor of what length these big businesses have gone in making people addicted to their products. I was returning after spending an entire day in a Mayan town close to Merida in Yucatan several years ago. I was drawn to this town because it stands as a rare example of preserving Mayan culture in spite of embracing colonial culture. As the driver of my car was about to make an exit form the center of the town, a huge Coca Cola truck blocked the road. It was desperately trying to make a turn but it was so big that it had a hard time doing so. For about five minutes I was simply staring at the huge Coca Cola sign on the truck and was lamenting that even a small Mayan town which is desperately trying to preserve its heritage cannot escape Coca Cola's tentacles!

    Thanks to junk food and sugary drinks, we also know that Mexico is the number one obese country (percent wise) in the world today.

    It's not just the poor people who have targeted by big businesses. During a visit to Santiago, Chile I saw even upscale and upper middle classes choosing coke or pepsi as their preferred choice of drink over dinner at restaurants.

    It's past time we require these companies to put health warning labels on their products!

  179. This was a really thought provoking story. Good job by The Times reporters.

    Couple of thoughts:

    Cuba has a socialist system of food distribution which precludes the likes of Nestle. The government purchases and imports 80% of the island's food. So their government is in a position to enforce nutritional standards. On the other hand Cubans traditionally consume a lot of sugar, rum and tobacco and eat few vegetables. It would be interesting to compare health outcomes in Cuba versus Brazil.

    The NYT is itself a profit making corporation. I had trouble finishing this story on my iPad due to the bombardment of aggressive advertising.

  180. Food scientists who work at Nestle and at other purveyors of junk food, have formulated their foods to be of an addictive nature which may lead to overconsumption. Studies also have shown that junk food stimulates the same reward system in the brain as drugs and smoking.

  181. Michelle Obama, come on out, have we got a job for you!

  182. People go to where the flavor is.

    Let's face it, healthy food tastes really bad. Very few people on Earth have said "OMG I ate the whole bag of peas."

    If do-gooders want to do something to help humanity, they should come up with flavorings that make healthy food taste yummy.

  183. That's absurd! Fruits and vegetables- chicken and fish- salads with light touches of oil and vinegar and eggs prepared a myriad of ways are delicious! My grandmother would make pastas and potato salads with olive oil and loads of vegetables to keep the calorie count lower. The snap of frozen peas that I am going to add to my chicken curry with yogurt and dried cranberries tonight will add a delightful textural sensation. Teach children that if they are good and eat their after school cookies they can have all the fruit and vegetables they want not the other way around. For centuries people have made healthy food delicious and visually beautiful. The aromatics garlic, onion and leeks and spices and herbs have long been flavorings that make healthy food taste yummy. By the way don't eat any food healthy or not if it is not to your taste. My husband hates kale and I am not a big fan of legumes- so not in my house!

  184. Healthy food only tastes bad to people that consume the junk. Your comment gives yourself away. You think junk food tastes good, it actually tastes like plastic to me because I know what real food tastes like. Those flavorings you talk about are made in a lab.

  185. You live in Portland, you may want to check out the Portland food festival and taste some real food and you will understand what I mean when I say that processed food tastes like plastic.

  186. While the problems of obesity and potential abuse of snack and fast foods sound real, this article simplifies the cause by casting big food companies as malefactor. In fact, the last paragraph of the piece, no doubt unintentionally, shows the real value they bring to these areas: jobs and hope. Bad as some of the consequences of promoting these products are, they also have positive consequences.

    Failing the local polities taking better steps to help their people, if Nestle and other companies of this type withdrew from these markets, people would be worse off.

    This brings the matter to those governments: they can ban the foods in question. They can ban corporate donations and bribery of politicians and punish violations severely. They can educate people about the dangers of fast food. If they don't, it is local societies at fault, not the food companies.

    In the end, there is the inevitable feeling that while meant well, this article caters to romantic notions about less developed countries, imagining an Arcadia of food supply and simple village living that never was.

    It may have come at a cost (what does not?) but the fact that longevity has never been higher today disproves, finally, the thesis of this piece.

  187. I used to work for big food businesses, and interact regularly with them in my current role (as an NGO advocate). This article is very insightful, but misses some key points/context in its reporting: Nestle is not seeking greater returns simply because of greed -- they're actively being pushed to deliver greater returns by people like you, me and activist investors like Mr. Dan Loeb. Most food companies, especially in Europe, are being targeted by investors (Google Loeb and Nestle or Unilever and Buffet) and are under tremendous pressure to deliver better results. If they miss an opportunity to make inroads into Brazil, that would make them targets for a takeover (Google Unilever and Kraft).

    Plus, if you're invested in equity or funds that include Big Food, and you're constantly looking for returns, you're a big contributor to this issue. Hold the food companies accountable, but hold those that push them for better returns at the expense of EVERYTHING else accountable as well. This issue is one of system change, not simply targeting those that are most visible.

  188. "...Nestlé Greek Red Berry, a 3.5-ounce cup of yogurt with 17 grams of sugar; and Chandelle Pacoca, a peanut-flavored pudding in a container the same size as the yogurt that has 20 grams of sugar — nearly the entire World Health Organization’s recommended daily limit."

    This statement might be a little bit misleading. Although less is better, as far as I know the baseline recommendation is 50g per day. From the WHO website:

    "A new WHO guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits."

  189. It's incomplete to say that the objection to Nestle pushing formula in many developing countries was simply because it would replace breastfeeding. The bigger part of the problem was that they were also pushing it in places where there was no safe water to use to mix formula. Encouraging people to mix formula with unsafe water is far more sinister than simply encouraging formula over breastfeeding when both are safe choices.

  190. Really fine reporting and unfortunate for Brazil.

  191. Part 2 from El Salvador.
    5. Produce for most people here is sold by passing trucks, or by folks in from the country early in the morning. A lot of the larger local growers are working for "empacadoras" -- one of them run by the Clinton Foundation -- which feed fruit and vegetables into the supermarkets. Note: around here, chain supers are rich folks' stores, working class people don't go there. I just spent the morning helping family members sort and clean some produce going into the supermarkets (not via CF). We threw away about a quarter of the usable produce because it failed to meet standards of size and appearance. Incredibly stupid, in a place where people are hungry.

    Folks could, in principle, sell in the local street market. That involves having someone there full time, and paying for a stall. Sending a truck around puts you into a very competitive market w/high fuel costs (gasoline is about 40 cents a gallon more than in Boston, laborer's wage $7-8 a day).

    Producers are facing really hard choices here.

    The cost of produce isn't just about money. It's time to be at home when the truck comes, time to get to the market in the next town, everything said in my previous post about fuel security. Transportation to get to a supermarket (most of an hour away from here). Lack of clean water (salad is wonderful, but if all you have to clean the greens is dirty water, and iodine or silver salts to wash produce cost a lot, and bleach leaves everything tasting nasty ...)

  192. Big businesses went to the poorest houses in Brazil and brought them cookies and candy and pudding and the things their business sells. As one of the people going door to door was dropping off food for people she noticed that many of them were very obese, even the children. It turns out that whenever people would bring them food it was always junk food and it got them all hooked on junk food. Most people in that area were roughly around 200 pounds.

  193. I've been reading some news about Brazil at the Times and I'm a bit disappointed. I'm not saying that those news false, but as somebody had already said, "You can tell a bunch of lies only telling the true". It a fact that poor people in Brazil eat more junk food. But it's not correct to say that is due to big business strategies. It´s also inaccurate to say that they are changing their diet from healthy into junk food.

    Brazil has 200 million inhabitants, and the major part is middle class and live in the cities, not in the middle of nowhere. Like the rest of the western world Brazilian are all aware of the problems related to junk food and making an effort to change it. Even the poor illiterate people know tor a fact that junk food is garbage. They are not naive folks being addicted by the "bad wolf". It´s no news. They've been eating processed food for a very long time, because it's cheaper and easier to eat in a rush day, just like poor people in America does.
    Food companies are expanding in Brazil in last years, because the the lower stratus from the society got richer and began to by yogurt, ice creams, cookies and stuff like that.
    Food companies are being forced to change their products formula, and biological food market has being growing in a much faster path in the last years.
    I expect from the Times, less fairy tales and more from the boring, uninteresting and never changing reality.

  194. So help me with this one. How is it we don't use this strategy on North Korea, Afghanistan or Iran. We have already fattened up the Chinese on KFC, I've heard they are addicted to the stuff. We should give it away for free they wont be able to fit into their tanks. Seems to me the perfect solution and at a fraction of the cost of a military intervention. Heck "the Donald" could be the poster boy with the gut he is dragging around. They couldn't run across the battlefield without dropping dead of diabetes, heart disease or all the above.