Obesity: Control of food intake, including the endocannabinoids. Also, a review of: “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,” by Michael Moss

A lecture was presented by Joe Dixon on February 26, 2014 on the subject of the control of food intake in humans. This area has now been researched for over sixty years and we are still in the infancy of understanding this complex process. However, it is evident that the food companies have made significant discoveries concerning what makes humans crave certain foods. The reading assignment for this week was “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,” by Michael Moss, published February 20, 2013 in the New York Times Magazine. Michael Moss is an investigative reporter for The NY Times and he won a Pulitzer Prize in 2010 for his news reports concerning the meat industry. The article was adapted from “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” published in 2013 by Random House.

Michael Moss of the New York Times

Michael Moss of the New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html

Here is short summary of Mr. Moss’ article:
What makes this article, and the book which it is exerpted from, so powerful is that Mr. Moss was able to obtain documents that support this entire story. Michael Moss stated, “What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.” Mr. Moss interviewed over 300 people who had been involved, or were still involved, with the food industry. In this article, he relays examples of how certain foods were formulated to make products irresistible to consumers. Foods that he mentioned in the magazine article were Dr. Pepper soft drink, Prego spaghetti sauce, Lunchables with dessert, the line extension for Lay’s potato chips, and several other major processed foods.

Mr. Moss’s article begins with a recap of a one-day meeting in 1999 of major food executives. In a presentation by a vice president of Kraft, named Michael Mudd, it was posited that the high rates of childhood and adult obesity were in part due to products supplies by the major food companies. Mr. Mudd suggested that one way to combat obesity included lowering salt, fat, and sugar in their products, and pulling back on their advertizing of packaged and front line food products. However, later in the same meeting, Stephen Sanger, CEO of General Mills, indicated that General Mills would not change course and that he would not alter recipes that had been formulated. The possibility that major food companies would do their part to fight the obesity epidemic was definitely deflated in this meeting.

Here are some major food products that Mr. Moss discusses in his article:

For Dr. Pepper, Moss saw the report where Howard Moskowitz, a food industry consultant, detailed how to increase the acceptance of Dr. Pepper by consumers. He even cited specific pages in the report where Moskowitz described how to increase the allure of Dr. Pepper.

We learn that in Prego spaghetti sauce, after tomatoes, sugar was made the next greatest ingredient in amount.

One extremely revealing story was that the grandchildren of Bob Drane, the man who invented Lunchables, did not seem to eat them because their mother, Drane’s daughter, indicted that her family “eat very healthfully.”

One interesting strategy that all of us who spend time in major supermarkets are aware of is the line extension, where products such as the original Oreos morphed into over thirty different “Oreo” varieties. The possibility of finding that perfect Oreo was enhanced many fold!

In the case of potato chips, food industry scientists again followed the food industry’s very effective strategy (line extension) to increase the sales of well-known products. In this case, the classic Lay’s potato chip brand was extended to include cousins such as chips with salt & vinegar, salt & pepper, cheddar, and sour cream flavoring. Mr. Moss goes on to describe how Frito-Lay executives hope to develop “designer sodium,” which may decrease the sodium content of their products by a considerable amount.

Moss ended his article by writing about Jeffrey Dunn, who was trying to stimulate interest in selling carrots to consumers using tactics he learned in the food industry. However, Mr. Dunn had been an executive with the Coca-Cola Company, where he was the president and chief operating officer for the regions of North and South America. One of the executives who worked with Mr. Dunn at the time described to Mr. Moss that Coca-Cola’s goal was to “outsell every other thing people drank, including milk and water.” Certainly, this comment brings to mind the Empire in the Star Wars Trilogy!

An interview of Michael Moss conducted by Johannah Sakimura, one of the students in this class, can be viewed at:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/unholy-trinity-behind-junk-food-michael-moss.aspx

15 Comments

  1. Janet Duncan

    The article titled, “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food” was by far the most interesting reading during the entire class for me. As someone extremely interested in uncovering agri-business’s hidden motives and secrets, I found this article to be very captivating, while also being both upsetting and discouraging. Throughout the article, there were quotes from processed-food company CEOs, scientists, and marketing specialists. I found nearly all of these quotes to be disturbing – especially the quote from Stephen Sanger, the head of General Mills, when he said, “Don’t talk to me about nutrition – talk to me about taste, and if this stuff tastes better, don’t run around trying to sell stuff that doesn’t taste good.” What does it say about our country and about our attitudes toward health when the very people supplying a large portion of the food consumed are saying such horrid things as “don’t talk to me about nutrition”!! And what does it say about our society that even when these people say such disturbing things, we go on to continue buying and consuming these products? Perhaps this is the very issue with America’s problem with “addictive junk food.”

    Consumer attitudes about food and nutrition have always been one of my biggest interests – a lot of people tend to think that the choice is completely on the consumer – and I certainly do believe one’s health choices are one’s own responsibility – but would the consumer still make unhealthy choices if detrimental foods were not marketed in such an appealing way? Would the general consumer choose healthier items if they were advertised in the same way as the industry presently advertises harmful foods? The article posed the statement that “the selling of food matters just as much as the food itself” and I believe, in some cases, the selling of the food matters more. I have heard so many people say things like, “I know this food is bad for me, but I just can’t stop eating it!” I believe this is due to how these foods are presented – They’re delicious! They’re fun! You want these foods! You can only blame the consumer so much when these foods are essentially being forced down their throats! Perhaps the combination of such advertising and the addictive chemical additives in these junk foods is the most lethal combination of all!

    I have always suspected the majority of the food industry to be made up of “shady people” – that is, people who give the illusion that they “care” about the consumer, yet have ulterior motives – with no interest in promoting health and nutrition, but rather with an interest solely in promoting their products to line their wallets, regardless of how harmful these foods are to consumers. This article genuinely solidified that for me, as you hear that first hand from the mouth of a top food produce in our country. It is troubling to me that so many industry members allow their quest for money and success to override their moral code and concern for their fellow human; or perhaps their greed as destroyed that moral code? Even after attending a seminar that explained the dangerous and staggering rates of obesity, diabetes, gout, heart disease, etc., there still remained people who openly admitted that their careers in the food industry do not “allow for them to be moral” and that, in fact, many of them do not even have a problem with that.

    I believe more food companys need to shift their focus to providing consumers with healthful foods that are also palatable and exciting, and I think the “pro-junk food behavior but anti-junk food establishment,” as described by Jeffrey Dunn, may be a good way to start.

  2. Amanda G

    Talia,
    I agree with many comments and points you discussed in your review. Most, if not all of us taking this class are aware that the big corporations’ main goals are to make more money. Oscar Mayer’s marketing team is very aware of who their target consumer is and how to attract them. Since we live in a market system/capitalistic economy I don’t believe that Oscar Mayer would or should revise their Lunchables. They have the right to produce and sell what they choose. Your comment about how uneducated many Americans are with regards to nutrition is a very valid observation. A solution to this could possibly come from mandating nutrition education classes in schools. If nutrition was actually mandatory in school curriculum and supported with healthier school breakfast and lunch options then maybe our country would be more nutritionally aware. If people were more aware of proper nutrition then maybe Oscar Mayer, along with the other big junk food corporations, would be out of business or then actually have to revise their zombie food lunchables to save their company.

  3. Jennifer Jesionka

    The corporate food industry has always had a powerful impact on every target audience and age-group in the United States and continues to do so by producing and selling high fat and sugar products. From television commercials, to aisle browsing in the supermarket, America’s largest food company brands are everywhere we look. Michael Moss’s article talks about some of the largest food companies and what their C.E.O’s think about the obesity epidemic and how it may be related to some of their products. After reading the article, I now have a much better understanding of how the food industry works and the science that goes into it. I also have a better understanding of companies strategies to get consumers to buy their products, even if the products are extremely unhealthy.
    When a large food industry company comes out with a new product, it is tested over and over again by scientists and consumers, yet the company is not really focused on the nutritional value of these products. The companies want products that make the company millions in profit, compete with or beat other competing products, and consumers will enjoy. The food industry also likes to target a specific audience with their products so they can sell better and have more appeal. One of the biggest target audiences is children and teenagers, who see commercials and ads for these products on a daily basis. Most of these products are unhealthy, high in fat, sugar, and sodium, and being targeted directly at children consumers, who keep wanting more and more.
    The one story in the article that stuck out to me was the one about the very popular product, Lunchables. I know when I was in elementary and middle school, Lunchables were really cool and your day would be made if you opened your lunchbox up to see a Lunchable inside. Looking back now, I don’t really know why Lunchables were all the hype, because personally they never filled me up completely. The concept of Lunchables is really kid-friendly and convenient for parents, but how healthy could they possibly be? After reading more about the Lunchable product, I realized these tiny lunches are extremely unhealthy and loaded with saturated fats and sugars. The company knew that they weren’t healthy, especially for kids, but kept producing the product and defending their actions by stating, “You do not eat Lunchables every day, so basically its okay.” (Moss, 2013). Lunchables should be produced to be healthier for children, and although they have made some steps into doing this, it still remains a very unhealthy product.
    It was very interesting to read about the food industry in America and how some big name companies actually do care about the obesity epidemic and how many do not. This article really opened my eyes because as a nutrition major, I plan on working in the corporate food business once I graduate. I do not fully blame the food industry since they are trying to make a profit and they keep producing what American consumers want. I do believe though, that companies need to realize their million dollar profits translates to a consumers health deteriorating. Now more than ever, the food industry needs to be very concerned with the nutrition value of their products and their consumers health to help slow the growing rate of obesity in America.

    • Ashley Aaron

      Jennifer,

      While I agree with you that companies should do a better job of producing “healthy” foods, the reality is that it is never going to happen. Companies that got to where they are because of this junk food will never start putting their consumer’s health before profit. Even with the best intentions, like what the creators of Lunchables first had when they began the project, quickly turn to unrealistic in this mass producing world. For example, they began with wanting to incorporate cheese into the packaged lunches, but soon realized that real cheese doesn’t have much of a shelf life so it was replaced with a cheese-like substance. I feel that the best way to look out for the health of you and your family is to stay far away from packaged foods. The amount of research done to figure out exactly how to pull in a target audience and keep them coming back for more is unnerving. Regardless of what the label says, if it’s not in it’s natural form it’s probably not good for you.

      • Jesse Tannehill

        Jennifer,

        I got a little nostalgic reading your statement about how awesome it was to bring a Lunchable to school. I too remember opening my lunchbox and being overjoyed by the sight of meat circles, cheese squares and salty crackers wrapped in plastic tray, but my excitement for lunchtime didn’t stem from the amazing taste of this product. Probably because Lunchables are less about tasting great and more about empowering the kids who consume them. Granting kids the ability to control what they had for lunch is what made the product popular/cool and Oscar-Mayer had to find a way to sustain the ingredients that were packaged. If you read Ashley’s response, I also agree that asking food giants to make their products healthy is unrealistic and any recent attempt to do so is a hollow marketing ploy. Here’s why: These companies aren’t in the business of health. They are in the business of processed food/making money and it is impossible for them to provide wholesome options/ingredients within their processed products, think of the logistics and risks behind it. Unfortunately, these marketing tactics are the closest these companies can come to providing “healthy” processed foods and it seems it will be that way for a while, the only thing we can do is be aware.

  4. Taylor Palm

    Michael Moss does the extraordinary job of making the universally loved and hated processed food industry transparent. A few key things are addressed in his article: How companies craft their products, the nature of business and assessing what people want. He profiles all sides of this topic: the sellers, the consumers, the marketers, the scientists and the people trying to make a difference. Despite the known health risks, consumers want sugar, salt and fat. Industries have perfected advertising this to everyone, including children. Scientists have engineered the “Bliss Point,” the Goldilocks of delicious. This pivotal place of perfection exists where every aspect of a food is not too much, not too little but just right to make the tastiest most cravable snack that never quite satiates. The debacle of solving obesity revolves around the facts that companies want money and people like junk food. The point is, the problem is a cluster of pointed fingers and selfish business motives.
    The concern with the childhood obesity epidemic really spoke to me because my goal is to be part of the solution. I have so much respect for James Behnke who held a private meeting with fellow execs and CEOs of the most prominent food companies in the country. He wished to make the food industry apart of the fight against childhood obesity. He urged them to reevaluate their products and their advertising strategies. I respect him so much for even trying. While it was obvious he would never be successful, it was noble and lovely but I agree with the stubborn execs. I’m very nutritious, I make my own meals due to my many food intolerances, I avoid junk food, and I’m very conscious of what I put in my body. But when I want to indulge in my lactose free ice cream or gluten free chocolate chip waffles, I want to savor every last sugary, satisfying calorie and gram of fat. Diet foods only leave people disappointed.
    People want junk food. The companies are right, there’s no gun next to anyone’s head forcing them to eat poorly. Junk foods will always be around. The beauty of this world is that we are privileged with limitless choices but it’s our job to make the right ones. People know the dangers of over consumption of junk food, they eat them anyway. At the end of the day, all foods, even junk food can be incorporated into a person’s diet, they just have to learn moderation and portion control. Food companies are businesses; they’re marketing what the people are asking for and they’re not asking for health. Junk food has something my salad will never have. I will never crave a piece of lettuce like I do a French fry. When that craving hits, I want the bliss point. I don’t want an inferior product that saves me from the full blown attack of delicious greasy goodness. I’ll work out a little harder and make sure my calorie count at other meals remains low so I can budget an unhealthier snack if I really want it. We can’t blame these businesses for doing their jobs. We can only blame ourselves for not taking care of our bodies. Once people start taking responsibility for their lives and choices, only then can obesity really be solved. Soda will always be around, even the diet brand… and you know what will always be healthier? Water. You just have to choose it. Pepsico, Cadberry, Frito-Lay; they will never be my scapegoat for the things I eat, it shouldn’t be anyone else’s either.

    • Jennifer Jesionka

      I agree with Taylor’s statement about choosing diet brands and water over a lot of other unhealthier snack foods that are out on the store shelves. These big brand name companies do not care about the health of consumers or who is consuming them. All they are after is to make money and make their brands more popular. I totally understand that we should be in control of what we eat and choose to buy and consume, but a lot of people do not always have that option either. Low socioeconomic class families may have to buy all the sale items in the supermarket, which surprisingly is mostly all junk food and processed foods. It is really unsettling when I myself go food shopping at Stop and Shop on Easton Ave and see cookies, chips, sweet iced tea, and other processed foods are the only things down the sale aisle. I can definitely choose not to purchase and consume these unhealthy snacks, but 2 packs of cookies for $5.00? I am a broke college student, I want more bang for my buck, so I buy them. It’s also a little easier for myself knowing I can also purchase fruits and vegetables too because I have the money and options to do so. Some people who are struggling with money may only pick up sale items because you get more for your money, even if it is really unhealthy and processed foods. I still put blame on both the big name companies and also consumers who keep buying, keep consuming, and demand more.

    • Jenna Deinzer

      Taylor,
      I agree with you and believe that this was a very interesting article that gave me a more in depth look into the processed food industry for the first time. I was never fully aware of how much science is involved with making the perfect cookie or the perfect potato chip, amongst many other types of junk foods. Scientists work to construct a food with the perfect amount of ingredients in order to establish the “Bliss Point”. These industries view themselves as businesses and do not necessarily always have their minds on consumer health. I agree with Taylor saying that you cannot entirely blame these companies. Consumers are entitled to their own choices and no one is forcing them to buy junk food products. Despite the known health risks of consuming these products, such as obesity, many people continue to buy them regularly. I believe that a focus should be put more on nutritious foods, however, as long as today’s society continues as is, these junk foods will continue to remain popular. Television commercials for junk foods are much more common than advertisements for fruits or vegetables. Also, these processed foods tend to be less expansive compared to buying more healthier alternatives, such as fresh produce. Overall, the problem with obesity that our country faces today, does not require that we restrict what every American eats, everyone is responsible for their own choices, including what they eat. Consumers need to begin making more informed choices and consciously be aware of what they are putting into their bodies.

  5. Ivana Panic

    Michael Moss’ article, The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food, provides an eye-opening viewpoint on the growing obesity epidemic in the United States. He discusses the ways in which companies continuously produce food that is fundamentally addicting. Moss talks about the fact that Americans are literally addicted to consuming junk food, specifically because of the high levels of fat, salt and sugar found in the products. Also discussed is the notion that high consumption of junk food is closely linked to the emerging obesity epidemic. Companies such as Nabisco, General Mills and Coca-Cola aim to create and market products that “sell the best”. Unfortunately often times the products that are going to bring in the greatest revenue for these companies are those made with the cheapest products, and excessive amounts of fat, sugar and salt.
    Researchers spend millions of dollars working to perfect products that will maximize sales through consumer surveys, taste tests and formula creation. For example, Oscar Meyer researchers worked to find out how the audience that buys the greatest amount of bologna (mothers) felt about lunch. They learned that the biggest factor was time to prep lunch for a child to take to school, and so they created Lunchables. The success of Lunchables led the franchise to want to expand, which they did, but it came at a cost. The next “generations” of Lunchables added desserts, sugary drinks and candy bars to their meal packages. Through further research they found out that it was not the food that necessarily enticed children, but rather, it was the power they felt when they were able to create their own meals, and so the company targeted their advertisement towards that. Unfortunately, the way they were able to continuously increase sales was by increasing palatability/appeal of the food, which was again done through increasing the amount of sugar, fat and salt in their products. Lunchables and Oscar Meyer are just one example of the techniques food corporations use to create products which are addicting to consumers in order to maximize their profits. Sadly, it appears that personal gain on behalf of the corporation matters more to many than the alarmingly high rates of obesity.
    I have to say I absolutely loved this article. The way it was written, using four very solid examples of the way in which companies are in a sense manipulating consumers, did a wonderful job of illustrating the point of the article. Food science is a very interesting field, but I did not really realize just how much goes into the production of a product. The amount of consumer research done to identify key characteristics people want, or to find a target audience is astounding. I find it very frustrating that there is little or no government regulation for these junk food companies. On the one hand, I can see why people that work at these companies are willing to do what it takes to maximize profits… it’s their job, plain and simple. But at the same time there is no reason why some of these products are so unhealthy. I definitely believe that if there was some sort of industry-wide agreement or regulation on the amount of salt, sugar, fat, etc then we as a society would see countless benefits. Of course these companies are not solely responsible for the obesity epidemic, but they are undoubtedly adding fuel to the fire.

    • Holly Murray

      I agree with you, I loved this article. I found it so interesting to see the motives and ideals behind the big business of the food industry. One thing I found interesting was how most of the CEOs admitted that their product was not good for you, and yet there were little to no changes to the product. One of the CEO’s families avoided feeding lunchibles to their children because they knew it was not nutritionally adequate.
      The relationship between supply and demand of a product determines the changes that may be made to the product to make it more desirable. As long as we are buying these “addictive junk foods” they will continue to be produced and the cycle will continue. Yes I think warning labels on food products containing too much sodium or fat would be beneficial to our decisions making; but all in all the decisions is still ours. Do we wish to consume this product?

    • Taisia Robinson

      I definitely agree with you. This article was so interesting because it just shows how the food companies will basically do anything to get you to buy their products. Sadly, like in the comment above said, it’s just their jobs to maximize their profits and keep their consumers happy. We as the consumers do not have to buy it if we don’t want to. We have a choice to either buy the Oscar Meyer bologna or not.
      Also another interesting point, the mother’s were concerned about prep time for their kids’ lunches. So if a food company finds healthier alternatives with a small amount of prep time then we can increase the healthier lunches consumed by children. At this point in our time, I feel like we are trying to get healthier and if we as consumers are going to demand healthier alternatives from these food companies, then they will have to supply us with it.

  6. Maiya M Lonesome

    I was captivated by the Micheal Moss’ article entitled “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food.” The article invited readers into a clandestine meeting of the executives of America’s leading junk food producers. They’re there to discuss the growing obesity epidemic and their responsibilities in the matter. At the time of the article, childhood obesity had become of growing concern with more than 12 million children being afflicted with the disease. Michael Mudd the vice president of Kraft during the meeting drew a stark comparison between the junk food that these companies were producing and cigarettes. He dually noted that as a society we’ve become irate with cigarette companies advertising to minors but sit idly while food companies do the same. If you sit through morning children television programming and this becomes very evident as companies bombard children with product after product that offers minimal nutritional value. Moss did his research and discovered that there was indeed a conscious effort on the part of the food companies to construct and market foods that are convenient and inexpensive and addictive.
    Probably the most poignant part of the article is in reference to Lunchables a quote by Geoffrey Bible former CEO of Phillip Morris who stated that the most healthy item in the pack was probably the napkin. Lunchables offers busy moms a quick alternative to packing lunch but the drawback is the nutritional content.
    The third part of the article took an in depth look at how other countries like Finland have reduced their rates of hypertension and high sodium diets, by requiring that food manufacturers disclose to the consumer their high salt content by placing a warning on the packaging. I don’t see this happening anytime soon here in the United States as big business would like lobby against this.
    This article was very intriguing to have in depth look not only at what the big food companies are saying regarding their snacks but what other experts in the industry think of these foods. The most interesting part of the article is the interview with the retired Bob Drane (Lunchable) whose approach to childhood obesity changed from becoming part of the problem to part of the solution. He currently volunteers with a non-profit to bridge the gap between kids and their parents. He also works with med students and holds the entire industry accountable for the culpability in the obesity epidemic.

    • Karan Patel

      Like almost everyone I loved this article. I look back now and can imagine myself at the grocery store trying to convince my parents to let me get Lunchables, I loved the mini candy bars and having the chance to make my own “creation.” It is so amazing that these companies invest millions upon millions to know exactly what will get us to buy their products no matter how much harm they can cause. Having a C.E.O. being quoted as saying “don’t talk to me about nutrition…talk to me about taste, and if this stuff tastes better, don’t run around trying to sell stuff that doesn’t taste good.” He defended his product and implied it is the consumers choice to eat certain foods, but if you are making a product so addictive while knowing it can cause harm to people should you not stop selling this product? Just like the comparison was made that these foods are as serious as the cigarette epidemic. Those companies know how to market their products for certain populations without considering any consequences, and even themselves avoiding using the product (ex: the family and lunchables) all in order to maximize their own financial gains. I can say capitalism places a role in the growing obesity rates.

  7. Talia Gabbay

    After reading the article Addictive Foods NYT I was once again reassured that big companies in the United States have one simple goal, their goal is to increase their revenue from year to year. Of course, making money is not a bad thing. The tragedy occurs when having a large profit becomes a higher priority than the health of the citizens of the United States. This article, and specifically the section about Lunchables, proves that large corporations care solely about the bottom line. They are not worried about the health implications of the junk they are selling millions of people. The Lunchables portion of the article focused on how the consumption of processed meat products was plummeting during the 1980’s. The origin of the problem was that the public became more aware of the severe consequences of eating red meat. To combat the plummeting red meat consumption, Oscar Mayer devised a new strategy to sell these foods, luring customers back. Consumers who once knew the detrimental effects of eating red meat products were now buying Lunchables which provided parents a convenient way to feed their children with a misleadingly unhealthy meal. The article clearly states that people had an awareness of the unhealthy side effects of eating red meat prior to the launch of Lunchables. However, instead of changing their approach to red meat, Oscar Mayer changed the vehicle they sold their product in, resulting in the formation of processed meat. Although Oscar Mayer attempted at one point to add healthier foods into the Lunchable box, the necessary long shelf life of Lunchables provided a difficult environment for fresh fruits and vegetables. The simple fact that Lunchables had to withstand weeks in processing plants waiting to hit grocery store shelves should be enough of a deterrent for buying these products. No food should be edible, let alone fed to children, after many weeks of sitting in storage.
    This article irritates me immensely because I realize that the United States as a whole is extremely uneducated when it comes to nutrition and understanding what healthy food looks like and what they can do to one’s body. Big companies like Oscar Mayer, are interested in the bottom line. They want to make revenue by selling as much processed food to as many people as possible. They do not care about the ramifications of children eating their junk food. I am realistic and understand that individuals have the right to make their own decisions when it comes to what foods they purchase. However, I also know that there is a great amount of people in the United States that lacks any understanding of nutrition. These people are targeted for their ignorance when companies like Oscar Mayer create cheap, easy to buy, easy to eat, unhealthy junk food. People trust food companies to feed them proper nutritious food, what they do not understand is that food companies, for the great majority, could care less about the nutritional value of their foods.
    I recognize that Lunchables did try to create better options for their boxes; however, this is not enough. If fresh unadulterated fruits and vegetables cannot last the long shelf life Lunchables must abide by, then the concept of Lunchables is one that should be revised. The solution does not lie with a product that can last weeks upon weeks on a shelf, the solution lies in a way to provide nutritious food to consumers without charging large sums of money. Having a successful company should not come at the expense of children’s lives.

    • Amany Hamed

      I totally agree with all the comments and ideas you have discussed. I came across something in the article that really frustrated me. The daughter’s founder of Lunchables mentions that the product was like the “4th child”, but she doesn’t even feed them to her children. She states that her children “eat very healthfully”. If she was a concerned mother and feeds her children healthy food, shouldn’t she also worry about the millions of other children eating from her father’s product! It’s very sad to see how those companies know about the growing epidemic of obesity and other related health factors that are caused by their products, and all they care about is the size of their growing pockets.

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