Blog: Olly WehringNutrition whiplash? Give me a break

Olly Wehring | 2 November 2007

Nutrition whiplash. That, according to the American Meat Institute, is the sensation consumers will feel when they hear that what they eat can help determine whether or not they get cancer.

A report, from the World Cancer Research Fund, has provoked a fierce response from some in the food industry with suggestions that consumers should cut down on red meat being dismissed as “extreme” and “alarmist”. 

Sugary soft drinks and alcohol have been targeted in the report too. And, the drinks industry should take note that this aggressive reaction is far from the best way to engage in this debate.

That said, the media attention given to this report around the world should set alarm bells ringing among all the food and drinks industry. Instead of dismissing this study, as an industry we should take it seriously and watch its impact on consumer behaviour with care.

Consumers are far from suffering “nutrition whiplash”. Consumers are taking more and more care over their health and, as we’re told continuously by the food and drinks companies, “health and wellbeing” is one of the top factors in food and beverage purchasing decisions right now.


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