Even following just a handful of people who do more than just tweet about themselves, you’re bound to get some interesting “sound bites” on one topic or another…some of them definitely more marketing/pr than others. Just yesterday, for example, what came into my Twitter feed was a micro-blog about the food industry and how entrenched the system is on making sure that people eat more rather than less. I don’t know how accurate the figures are, but according to this food micro-blogger, Americans eating 100 fewer calories a day would result in massive losses to the food industry totaling almost $32 billion dollars. I guess it also depends on the type of foods you eliminate or substitute too, because obviously some foods have fewer calories by volume than others do. But even if the number isn’t necessarily that large, even if it was only $1 billion, it is still pretty impressive and quite plausible.
If you think about it the food industry needs people to eat more in the future than they are in the present, or else for the population capable of spending food dollars to explode–a new foreign market for example, otherwise how in the world are they going to show growth? Or, they have to come up with pretty ingenious health claims and paste them on almost anything, or why would people buy $4/lb cereal instead of $1.50/lb green beans (even less in season)? This is also, I’m afraid, why even the organic market has been growing.
I thought about this also while watching The Biggest Loser (I have yet to not get sucked into this show). I know a good part of that show is about marketing food products and sending out certain messages about what to eat…that’s a given. What I’ve often thought about is how this effects the advice so nicely “placed” into the show. After all we’d like to think that if these individuals are losing so much weight than maybe their trainers do have some idea of what is nutritionally sound. But why, I’ve often wondered, wouldn’t any of the contestants eat a vegetarian diet. Wouldn’t that give them instant advantage in their weight-loss. I’ve never seen anything on that show about eating legumes, soy proteins, or anything like that. I have seen a lot on the show about drinking milk and eating skinless chicken, and otherwise cutting back across the board on junk (that’s a good thing).
I don’t know how big a fan I am of Twitter, but it does open up some new thinking every once in awhile.
I also have found this map put together by the CDC which is extremely eye-opening. It does make you wonder where we’re heading…it’s obvious that the food industry has profited from our growing stomachs, even if there are a variety of explanations for why America has gotten progressively fatter.