Don’t Believe the Salad Millionaire
September 10, 2021 6:27 PM   Subscribe

You’re smart enough to pick your own lunch, no matter what Sweetgreen's CEO says. "More interesting, though, is how telling Neman’s salvational ramblings are of a harmful conviction about health that America’s wealthiest, most privileged class long ago laundered into common sense: that people who, unlike them, end up sick or poor have simply refused to make the right choices and help themselves."
posted by geoff. (51 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
Isn't that just a fancy way of saying "victim blaming"?

It's also interesting how many self-help gurus use the same premise, esp. peddlers of "The Secret", about positive thoughts and blah-blah. Not successful? You are the blame because you can't think positive thoughts!
posted by kschang at 6:33 PM on September 10 [11 favorites]


This is Marie Antoinette telling starving French peasants to eat cake, except the cake story is apocryphal, and this one happened for everyone to see on LinkedIn.

This line is a thing of beauty.
posted by meese at 6:45 PM on September 10 [38 favorites]


The Sweetgreens founding story is pretty hard to read: "“We got some tough love in the beginning,” Mr. Ru said. “My father said, ‘Do you know how many salads you’ll have to sell to pay the rent?’"

Then they go onto talk about how their parents (all whom are successful people who own their own business), lent them each $10k, and they somehow got another $300k+ from "business contacts," as every college kid can raise close to half a million through parents and contacts in college without any track record of success.
posted by geoff. at 7:06 PM on September 10 [56 favorites]


I for one am indeed too stupid to pick my own lunch
posted by potrzebie at 7:56 PM on September 10 [19 favorites]


Aw, man, I like Sweetgreen! They make a tasty salad. Boo to this CEO
posted by Going To Maine at 8:31 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


“Ok, students, today will be a fun lesson. Apparently too much salad can be deleterious to one’s mental health. Let’s look at the case of Jonathan Neman…”
posted by armoir from antproof case at 9:07 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Isn't that just a fancy way of saying "victim blaming"?

Even better: just-world hypothesis

So he's trying to impose a particular worldview, which is a red flag, transitioning into the obligatory "die, fatty" perspective. Mackie's Syndrome (who of course is duly mentioned).
posted by rhizome at 9:51 PM on September 10 [12 favorites]


Salad places should be a Maintenance Phase ep
posted by en forme de poire at 10:02 PM on September 10 [32 favorites]




It blows my mind that America’s streak of Puritanism and wanting to ban anything connected to any kind of perceived moral problem runs so deeply and persistently when we know exactly how and why these bans fail.

Consider prohibition. Instead of government regulated brewers and distillers making legally regulated, drinkable alcohol, you ended up with a network of bootleggers diverting poisonous industrial alcohol and attempting to re-distill it. Predictably, this led to a whole lot of deaths from tainted alcohol.

Consider the War on Drugs. Our current overdose crisis is the result of fentanyl and other adulterants entering an unregulated drug supply. We’re still trying to arrest our way out of this one as people keep dying, ineffective as that is.

Processed food obviously doesn’t have so many black-market possibilities that would lead to immediate death as alcohol and drugs do, but you get the parallel. Ban anything pleasurable to some and a black market emerges, along with a carceral system to punish offenders, who are mostly marginalized.

The punishment is the point.
posted by ActionPopulated at 11:34 PM on September 10 [22 favorites]


Salads for lunch are not a healthy option, and the culture of salad virtue helps tip people into binge eating disorder. When I was working as a dietitian this was something I saw in the vast majority of my overweight patients: skipping or skimping on breakfast, salad for lunch, and then at home in the evening, when you're tired and no one is there to exert social pressure, your brain is like, "awesome, NOW we can get all the calories we've been needing all day!" and it forces a binge. Repeated on a near-daily basis your brain starts to accept this as the norm, you lose touch with your hunger and satiety signals, and the binges become addictive in and of themselves. And at that point it takes months of therapy to return to a normal, healthy, state. (Therapy that is really hard to find someone to pay for, so hopefully you're rich.)

When I was working in eating disorder clinics as a dietitian it was something I had to explain to patients over and over: "but why are we asked to eat plates of pasta, and sandwiches, etc. for lunch, when everyone at work just has salads and they're fine?!" "Are they fine? How would you know? You know you can't tell from the outside who has an eating disorder." (and I was seeing their colleagues in the regular hospitals and clinics, so I did know -- the majority of my overweight patients had exactly this evening-heavy eating pattern, and convincing them that eating real meals at lunch and dinner would actually reduce their weight was a sisyphean task.)

Your body needs fuel, your brain needs full, your immune system needs fuel. And if your brain and body is not getting the fuel it needs, it will find a way. And that way will suck. Eating just salads for meals (without added carbs, protein, and fat) is not healthy. Participating in the social pressure to eat salads for lunch harms people.
posted by antinomia at 1:23 AM on September 11 [66 favorites]


If this guy really believed salad would save the world, he ought to be giving it out at cost. A dollar a pop.

I say this as someone who likes salad and grain bowls, but doesn't like paying $15 for them. So I buy the ingredients and make em myself; plenty of copycat recipes out there. But that takes the privilege of time, plus having somewhere at work to store my lunch and heat it up if necessary. Lots of people don't have that option.

I commend sweetgreen and chopt for convincing Americans that salad is more than sad iceberg lettuce. But they just lost a lot of goodwill from me.
posted by basalganglia at 1:38 AM on September 11 [6 favorites]


antinomia, I'm not sure what people mean by salad. A pile of mostly greens and veggies would be too low in fat, protein, and calories and lead to bingeing. It wouldn't surprise me if that's what your patients were doing.

A $15 restaurant salad would probably have substantial fat and protein unless you tried to avoid them.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 2:34 AM on September 11 [7 favorites]


Not to defend the shitbag CEO in any way, but if you take a look at the Sweetgreen web site, they show the protein/fat/carb content of their menu items. And the salads seem like real, substantial, nutritious meals.
posted by Flock of Cynthiabirds at 3:51 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


The CEO has emitted a non apology. And reportedly his main lesson from this was to consult his PR team next time.
posted by signal at 5:30 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


I used to make home cooked meals for my kids every day, and would stand in judgment of all those who didn't.
It took a tremendous loss of privilege for me to start to see what a lie that was. I was so lucky to have wealthy parents to get me the education I needed for a job that gave me the time to cook. The Sweetgrass CEO will likely never learn that lesson.
posted by Flight Hardware, do not touch at 6:03 AM on September 11 [13 favorites]


Taxing sugared processed foods is a good and important policy. It is done in Seattle and it works at reducing soda consumption, as one example. Soda companies are not happy here and have been doing all kinds of underhanded tricks in grocery stores to politicize product display, as well as repeatedly try to game our democracy when related issues are on the ballots. Smart tax policy can work, though it does require government operating out of step with powerful interests.

None of which is to defend said CEO. If he cared about public health policy as much as he says, he'd sell his salads at cost. He'd push the federal government to separate healthcare from employment, setting up single-payer, universal coverage for all. He's not doing any of that, for obvious reasons.

He also sounds like a quasi-anti-vaxxer/anti-masker type, despite his claims otherwise, and these evil trash continue to play a significant role in furthering a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people here, salads or otherwise.

If I was feeling particularly cynical, I'd suggest Neman benefits from the ongoing health crisis caused by furthering the spread of Covid, and that people like him, like a lot of right-wing and libertarian trash since 2020, will do what they can to keep it going, in whatever way they can, because it continues to line their pockets.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 6:14 AM on September 11 [6 favorites]


quasi-anti-vaxxer/anti-masker
His statement on COVID was incredibly dangerous.
Just wanted to say that here I am, writing on the Internet while taking a break from cooking breakfast for tigrrrlily, while someone cuts my lawn outside. Pretty sure that guy would love to be making breakfast for his loved ones instead.
posted by Flight Hardware, do not touch at 6:27 AM on September 11 [6 favorites]


antinomia: "Your body needs fuel, your brain needs full, your immune system needs fuel. And if your brain and body is not getting the fuel it needs, it will find a way. And that way will suck. Eating just salads for meals (without added carbs, protein, and fat) is not healthy."

Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.
posted by chavenet at 6:32 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


When I eat a salad for a meal, it generally has fat and protein enough to be a meal; the main health advantage of it is there are lots of raw veggies and relatively less processed food than most non-salad meals, not that I'm cheating myself entirely of calories.
posted by Foosnark at 6:37 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Does he provide his hourly employees health care? Does he pay a minimum of $15 per hour? Does he give every employee a free shift meal?

If no to any or all of these he & his opinions can get fucked.
posted by djseafood at 6:41 AM on September 11 [13 favorites]


On the one hand, screw this dude and his self-serving BS. We don't need his dumb pandemic opinions or his corporate fascist fantasies.

On the other hand, the US government is already controlling our lunch via its vast system of food subsidies and policies (like the Farm Bill and international food aid policies). Everything about our food landscape -- availability, quality, prices, school lunches, what people on food stamps are permitted to eat, the vast overconsumption of meat (with all its attendant health and environmental problems), etc., etc., etc. -- is shaped by these policies. Our policies are, for the most part, designed to benefit industrial farms & food companies; their lobbyists write the largest part of the bills. Other nations have made different choices -- different priorities are possible -- so I don't think it's out of line to suggest that the government could exert its power in a different way. I'm not going to ask the Sweetgreen dude to be on the committee, but not everything he said is wrong.

For a more credible view on the problem, the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has a great food policy primer with links to additional resources. For a more cynical and snarky view, Marion Nestle's Food Politics blog is *chef's kiss*.
posted by ourobouros at 6:44 AM on September 11 [13 favorites]


I always think about my homehown of Arlington County, where the Sweetgreen is located across the street from DARPA headquarters. Man, that place gets packed.
posted by AlbertCalavicci at 7:46 AM on September 11


Salad doesn't cure covid, Connor. (Link to a Slate interview with Adam Abadir and Benjamin Jancewicz, two of the people behind the Baltimore City Health Department's social media campaign for the covid vaccination.) This view is so prevalent that health departments have to make memes about it.
posted by the primroses were over at 8:07 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


At first I was a bit surprised that Sweetgreen didn't see vaccines + masks as necessary tools to get the "office lunch crowd" back. But then I remembered that Sweetgreen is also the chain whose stores were cashless for two years, an era disenfranchising unbanked folks. The C-suite of Sweetgreen doesn't seem to get that they live in a bubble.

Sweetgreen does sell tasty, filling, and reasonably healthy salads though. Ones that I am not really inclined to replicate at home. It's a shame that the founders hold such toxic and harmful views.
posted by oceano at 8:17 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Salads for lunch are not a healthy option, and the culture of salad virtue helps tip people into binge eating disorder.
This is poorly stated to the point of being unhelpful, and if you were a dietician I hope you explained it better to your clients. “Salad” covers a huge range of ingredients and while iceberg lettuce with light dressing is indeed a disaster, there are plenty of great options for nutrition and satiation.

This is especially relevant in a thread about Sweetgreen because they tend to feature those options: look at their menu and you’ll see various greens, never iceberg, topped with chicken, avocado, nuts, cheese, olive oil, sweet potato, tofu, etc. I don’t think they’re perfect by any means but at least here in DC they were good for breaking up a lot of office lunch options tending towards bread with meat and cheese.

As a bike commuter, I strongly second having a real lunch and never felt like I had skimped with a good salad, although my usuals tended towards the Mediterranean places instead of Sweetgreen (what they sell as falafel is not bad but also not falafel).
posted by adamsc at 9:17 AM on September 11 [12 favorites]


Folks, I'm pretty sure that Salads don't really need to be defended. It's not like "have you tried eating more vegetables?" is an under-represented view point.

On the other hand, a conversation about how people can have health problems unrelated to their weight and diet, even if they're considered overweight, that doesn't automatically turn into people talking about how THEY eat healthy... That's a rare bird indeed.
posted by Gygesringtone at 9:26 AM on September 11 [19 favorites]


(what they sell as falafel is not bad but also not falafel)

You're saying, it's not full awful, but it's also not falafel?
posted by hippybear at 9:35 AM on September 11 [10 favorites]


You're saying, it's not full awful, but it's also not falafel?
It’s like getting pizza or bagels in California and comparing them to New York. You can understand why they used the same name but … it’s different.
posted by adamsc at 9:43 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Man, this guy is like if Michael Pollan decided to be a restaurant entrepreneur instead of writing books.

From the article: Requiring people to prove that they’ve made all the right choices before their lives are valued underpins virtually every cruelty in American health.

I'd argue that you could replace "health" with "public policy" in that sentence and its truth value would not be measurably altered.
posted by nickmark at 10:27 AM on September 11 [9 favorites]



what they sell as falafel is not bad but also not falafel

They're not selling it anymore, at least in D.C.
posted by jgirl at 10:38 AM on September 11


Salads for lunch are not a healthy option, and the culture of salad virtue helps tip people into binge eating disorder.

Perhaps this is a reflection of what you saw your clients thinking of as a salad, possibly based on what their coworkers were eating - which may well have been a few vegetables accompanied by a side of dressing to dip fork tines in (bleah - who thought of that?).

My salads consist of lettuce, vegetables, mushrooms, kidney beans, edamame, avocado, pomegranate when I can find it, and a cashew-based dressing, topped with roasted chickpeas. And I fill what's considered a small mixing bowl rather than a salad bowl. They are delicious, healthful, and a complete meal, and I'm very full after I eat them.
posted by FencingGal at 10:52 AM on September 11 [7 favorites]


If you're in my neck of the DMV you must try this
falafel
posted by art.bikes at 11:04 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Not all salads
posted by maggiemaggie at 11:31 AM on September 11 [23 favorites]


accompanied by a side of dressing to dip fork tines in (bleah - who thought of that?).

Someone like me who haaaaates the way restaurant salads are drenched in goop? I don't mind a bit of extra flavor with the salad and a dip of a fork per forkful is the perfect amount.

(For those who are concerned that this total stranger on the intartubes is not eating enough fat with my salad, it's either a side salad accompanying something, or I have ordered ALL THE CHEESE)
posted by telophase at 12:16 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Folks, I'm pretty sure that Salads don't really need to be defended. It's not like "have you tried eating more vegetables?" is an under-represented view point.
Respectfully, I disagree: American food culture has long had a weird puritanical streak where there's this feeling that foods which taste good are morally dubious and bad for you while healthy food is supposed to be something you endure rather than enjoy. It's the same cultural trend which avoids strong flavors and seasonings because those are for enjoyment, not nutrition — ever see someone side-eye a parent who puts cheese on the broccoli their kid is eating, as if it's somehow healthier to eat no vegetables?

Antinomia's comment that “salads for lunch are not a healthy option, and the culture of salad virtue helps tip people into binge eating disorder” seems to be based on that fallacy — it assumes that salads are not full meals, and so unsatisfying that people will binge later because there was something missing. Telling people to eat pasta and sandwiches instead sounds like it's basically buying into that false dichotomy: skip the vegetables, they'll leave you longing for more! It's usually better to talk about balance rather than seeking solace in plates of carbs, because the latter is easy to overdo and treating vegetables like an unsatisfying nutritional supplement tends to mean they're the first thing people skip when they're busy, tired, etc.
posted by adamsc at 1:51 PM on September 11 [14 favorites]


Look, I'm happy you all have salads that you like. Sincerely, good for you for eating food you enjoy.

It's just that in this context reading about someone else's salads is about as interesting and informative as reading about someone's dreams. It's actually a little worse, it's like coming into a discussion about how societal changes have lead to people having poorer sleep and having to read people talking about the dreams that they have during their 8 hours of restful sleep every night

Look, food's fun to talk about, and people have strong feelings about their chosen diets. You obviously put a lot of thought into what you eat. I can throw down in food discussions like you would not believe, and if you ever want someone to talk about how awesome just about any vegetable that's not broccoli or eggplant is, I'm your guy. The thing is, I recognize that that's a privilege. I'm lucky enough to have access to all my seasonal and delicious ingredients. That's not true for everyone. And that's really what the articles about.

I mean, just look at the rich salad guy who thinks that what works for him would work for everyone, and if they're not smart enough to see it, we should make them see it. Forget about how personally insulting I find him blaming the fact that I suffered a serious disease during a world wide pandemic on my eating habits, look at what he's saying. He's saying that he knows what's best for those who aren't moral/smart/whatever enough to feed themselves properly, so the government should force them to confirm to his ideas. That's close enough to where the Eugenics movement got it's start that Eugenics could totally do the "reel you in across the dance floor" move to the dude, and it might even work. Not to mention the fact that that sort of thinking has historically ended with things with names like "The Great Famine".

And I know that you aren't defending him, but coming into this context to tell us that maybe we should reconsider salads isn't a great look, you know? I mean, I know it's just an internet discussion and you probably don't have issues with access to fresh food any more than I do right now, but I guarantee that there are people who are reading this who do, and it might be a good idea to think about how they might feel hearing that the real issue is that people think salad is boring.

Anyway, I think there's plenty in the article to dig into. We could talk about how these conversations always seem to be ABOUT the people without access to the fresh foods instead of WITH them. One thing that particularly stuck out to me was the study the article linked to that showed that people already were educated about healthy food, they just didn't have the ability to do anything with that knowledge. I've been there, and it's absolutely gutting to feel the guilt of knowing that you should be eating something, and wanting to eat healthy, but having to choose between the million other things that you should and have to do or buy and making that healthier meal.
posted by Gygesringtone at 2:28 PM on September 11 [23 favorites]


And I know that you aren't defending him, but coming into this context to tell us that maybe we should reconsider salads isn't a great look, you know? I mean, I know it's just an internet discussion and you probably don't have issues with access to fresh food any more than I do right now, but I guarantee that there are people who are reading this who do, and it might be a good idea to think about how they might feel hearing that the real issue is that people think salad is boring.
There seems to be some talking past each other here: the point hasn't been that salad is great and everyone should like it but rather that it was unhelpful to tell people that they should or shouldn't like an entire category of food. Telling people that the source of their health problems is because they're eating salad instead of pasta and sandwiches is basically the same thing the salad guy is doing in reverse, when in both cases it should be looking at the bigger picture of where each person needs support (which, yes, is most often a question of access and other environmental factors) rather than continuing the long, sad tradition of saying there's one weird trick to solve all of your health problems.

This often ties in to the moralizing history: it's much easier to blame individuals for having insufficient moral fiber than question the system which lead to them not having good, affordable options or time to prepare them.
posted by adamsc at 6:25 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


It would be really great, for myself included, if someone could come up with a "eating healthy the poor way." There has to be menu items at Taco Bell or McDonald's that are both inexpensive and healthy, or at least not as bad for you.

I sort of don't like how a lot of healthy things are a huge deal. I believe I read on a health website that something like 4 miles an hour and 15,000 steps are what is considered healthy. You know what's healthy for a lot of people? Any amount of steps. Same with food, I'm often not in a situation where I get to choose my meal. Or rather I won't drive another 15 minutes to get a healthy meal or spend the extra $10 to get a healthy option. Even though I'm in an affluent neighborhood compared to most people I'm in a food desert unless I want to spend two to three times as much.

Eating healthy is unfortunately really tangled in classism and stigmas with being overweight and it'd be great if there was someway to go to a fastfood restaurant and not go, "Well I guess I'm here so might as well get a Big Mac."
posted by geoff. at 7:11 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


It would be really great, for myself included, if someone could come up with a "eating healthy the poor way." There has to be menu items at Taco Bell or McDonald's that are both inexpensive and healthy, or at least not as bad for you.

So I googled "healthy items McDonald's" and came up with several lists of the foods that are better for you. The menu changes, though, so when I checked against the McDonald's website, some had been discontinued. Really, I think if you're an omnivore, a regular hamburger with a glass of water or iced tea is probably the best thing to eat there. They do still seem to have a breakfast oatmeal with fruit. At Taco Bell, the plain bean burrito is not bad.

McDonald's has made several attempts to place healthier food on the menu, and it hasn't really been successful. I think to some extent those items are just going to be more expensive, which is going to make people less likely to buy them. That has a lot to do with what kind of agriculture is subsidized, so it's obnoxious, but there we are. And it looks like, at least in the past, people didn't actually buy those things enough for McDonald's to feel it was worthwhile.

Eating healthy is unfortunately really tangled in classism and stigmas with being overweight and it'd be great if there was someway to go to a fastfood restaurant and not go, "Well I guess I'm here so might as well get a Big Mac."

Absolutely true. And especially when poor neighborhoods have fast food restaurants, but not grocery stores.

It is much easier to make healthy food at home, and there are ways to make it less time consuming. Resources for that are available online, but getting started can be very daunting to the point of being practically impossible, especially if you are already exhausted from working two jobs you have to get to by bus. And then someone wants to take away the cookies that make you feel slightly better. I also think that food addiction is real - or at least addiction to the salt, sugar, and fat (warning: emphasis on obesity) that are ubiquitous in processed food and put there deliberately because people do get addicted to them. I started changing my diet because I didn't want to be on blood pressure meds (it worked - yay!). I was ultimately successful and now eat mostly whole foods vegan, but there was definitely some white knuckling involved. I genuinely enjoy my food now, but it was hard to change, and I'm definitely coming from a privileged position. There are no easy answers here.
posted by FencingGal at 6:21 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


And I know that you aren't defending him, but coming into this context to tell us that maybe we should reconsider salads isn't a great look, you know?

The context in this case was a person upthread, a dietitian yet, making the statement , "Salads for lunch are not a healthy option." I wasn't trying to tell people in general to reconsider salads - I was saying that that statement is not true. I detailed my salad to show that it is a healthy and filling meal and not, as that person implied, step one in developing an eating disorder.
posted by FencingGal at 6:37 AM on September 12 [5 favorites]


It would be really great, for myself included, if someone could come up with a "eating healthy the poor way." There has to be menu items at Taco Bell or McDonald's that are both inexpensive and healthy, or at least not as bad for you.

This would be a good project, but as a stopgap search results for "healthiest fast food" limited to the last year returns some information, though you will have to endure many listicles.

Healthy Options at Fast Food Restaurants
, with some selection heuristics.

13 Food Bloggers Reveal The Healthiest Fast Food Items

11 Surprisingly Healthy Fast-Food Orders, According to Experts


11 Healthier Fast-Food Breakfast Options

The 13 Healthiest Fast-Food Burgers, According to a Dietitian


What Is the Healthiest Fast Food You Can Order at the Drive-Thru?


and so forth
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:25 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Dressed in snake oil and vinegar...
posted by AJaffe at 8:35 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


There's a levy on non-diet soft drinks in the UK. It's not had a terrible backlash here so far as I know, but I also don't know whether there's been any evidence of its impact as a policy intervention. (I do know lots of people hold that diet soft drinks are just one step removed from the devil. But as discussed above, sometimes we are making choices between soft drinks rather than between soft drinks and other drinks, for all kinds of reasons.)

Given that governments already subsidise some foods and not others, there's no intrinsic reason why it can't choose to prioritise impact on the consumer, rather than impact on the producer, in its subsidies.

Salads are IMO, either expensive or non-delicious or both. I like a good salad, but can't buy the ingredients I need in a sensible portion sizes to make a great salad at home, and they are expensive to purchase ready made. When I'm grabbing a lunch to eat in the office, salad might be one of my preferred options as I'm not very sensitive to price for work lunches. When I'm working from home, it's never happening.
posted by plonkee at 12:56 PM on September 12


Isn’t Sweetgreen’s target demographic - wealthy urban professionals who buy 15 dollar salads - also significantly larger in the US than they’ve been before? Is it mostly about income and resulting food choices, is body fat percentage rising no matter what people eat, or what?
posted by Selena777 at 3:08 PM on September 12


Black Seeded Simpson’s Paradox ahead
posted by clew at 4:32 PM on September 12


I do know lots of people hold that diet soft drinks are just one step removed from the devil. But as discussed above, sometimes we are making choices between soft drinks rather than between soft drinks and other drinks, for all kinds of reasons.

I wouldn't call diet soft drinks the devil, but there's no evidence they're any better for you than regular soft drinks, and research has shown they don't help with weight loss. Maybe they're a better choice if you're diabetic, but if you're not, this is not an improvement. My local hospital has made this replacement, so you can buy any number of unhealthful meat/cheese concoctions, fried foods, and sugary, fatty desserts, but you can't have a regular Coke, which is probably not any worse than those other foods. I see it as giving the appearance of caring about health with no positive effect on consumers and no detriment to the drink manufacturers, which may be the point — healthwashing, I guess you'd call it.
posted by FencingGal at 5:31 PM on September 12


I wasn’t exactly expecting it, but the way this thread turned out, it probably needs a TW for eating disorders
posted by thivaia at 8:49 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


It would be really great, for myself included, if someone could come up with a "eating healthy the poor way." There has to be menu items at Taco Bell or McDonald's that are both inexpensive and healthy, or at least not as bad for you.

You can do this yourself with the TacoBell taco computer, as it tells the calories (and other nutrition info if you click) for each item you add. Of course, calories are still a serious abstraction, but it's close enough. The TacoBell taco computer [automated ordering station] is pretty cool - I have to give it props.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:24 AM on September 13


is body fat percentage rising no matter what people eat

People around the world are getting fatter (and accordingly sicker). Several causes could be at play, alone or in concert: increased consumption of processed foods, decreased manual activity, wider changes to gut bacterial populations in humans, hormone-like chemicals in our food chain.

There's a levy on non-diet soft drinks in the UK. It's not had a terrible backlash here so far as I know, but I also don't know whether there's been any evidence of its impact as a policy intervention.

Taxes appear to have reduced soda consumption in Seattle and Mexico. A study shows that taxes appear to have had a positive effect on reducing consumption in the UK, as well.

There is evidence that government intervention works, but beverage lobbyists work tirelessly to convince voters and policymakers otherwise.

To be honest, I wouldn't even trust what I read or say about the subject on Metafilter, let alone what I hear about it from a CEO on LinkedIn or from anyone else on other social media networks, but peer-reviewed research from various independent epidemiologists and economists seems to find similar results.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:31 AM on September 15


The context in this case was a person upthread, a dietitian yet, making the statement , "Salads for lunch are not a healthy option."

O.k. but did you miss the part where the guy blaming a global pandemic on people being overweight, denying the effectiveness of what are in fact the two most effective means of fighting the global pandemic, and then using that absolute BS to try and justify the government forcing people to eat what he deems are healthy foods? I don't want to at all diminish the thought and care that went into planning and executing your lunches, but come on. I am not responsible for getting COVID and having horrible and long lasting health repercussions because I'm a little bit overweight, and don't even get me started on assuming that my BMI means I don't eat "healthy" enough. Hell, this guy could literally be donating all his money to organizations fighting to eliminate food deserts and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and what he said would still be a dangerous misinformation.

I mean, I guess that's my biggest source of frustration here. This guy is denying science, making absurd claims about the effectiveness of vaccines and versus weight loss (oh and his business just happens to use it's product's image of being a healthy food), and the thing that is more important to correct is someone saying that the way their clients ate salads was part of a pattern they saw of unhealthy eating habits. Which like, I didn't love that comment either, because again, this isn't really about what people eat, but at least it was only one comment.

I don't know, it's just like people are so used to talking about personal dietary choices whenever weight gets brought up that it's so easy to slip back into that rut even when it's not particularly relevant to the discussion. And I catch myself doing that as well, you have no idea how many times I've deleted details about my own eating while writing this. They were all attempts to try and show that I'm one of the elect and don't deserve to be seen as "unhealthy", which is just... sick. I really understand why it's so hard NOT to do that, but I think it's worth the struggle, and hopefully by pointing out when it's happening I can also help others see the pattern and why it's bad.
posted by Gygesringtone at 8:23 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]


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