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Efforts To Develop Nutraceuticals Divert Attention From Real Cause Of Obesity Problem

October 1, 2010: 06:40 AM EST

The food industry is hoping to deflect bad publicity from its role in the global obesity problem – a billion people are obese, with 300 million considered morbidly obese – by investing in the development of healthy new products. The most recent example of the strategy is Nestlé’s announcement that it will spend $500 million over the next ten years to create a “new industry between food and pharmaceuticals.” However, Financial Times science editor Clive Cookson says, such splashy initiatives emphasizing development of costly niche products for health conscious consumers will divert attention from the need to improve best-selling conventional foods. Pricey ‘nutraceuticals’ and ‘functional foods’ may benefit the sophisticated and wealthy, Cookson says, but not poorer folks who buy cheaper, less nutritious supermarket and fast-food fare.

Clive Cookson, "Big Food eyes profits in smaller waistlines", FT.com, October 01, 2010, © The Financial Times Limited
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