Food Industry's PR Offense Against Obesity

"Kraft Foods' recently announced initiatives on obesity have marked a new phase in how food companies will address Americans' concerns about food and nutrition," PR Week writes. Until now, the food industry has tried to deflect the blame for America's growing waistlines by promoting physical activity. Now Kraft and others are talking about changing products and marketing. "Critics like [Center for Science in the Public Interest's Margo] Wootan see Kraft and other food companies acting primarily out of fear of lawsuits that would rival or surpass those brought against the tobacco industry," PR Week writes. Public health advocates say Kraft has a major credibility issue because of its ownership by Altria Group, formerly Philip Morris. "For example, Kraft has announced the formation of an expert advisory committee to assess the company's response to the obesity problem. But, [industry critic Marion] Nestle said, 'anybody who goes on that committee is flacking for [Altria]. No one who's independent is going to go on that,'" PR week writes.