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Stuffed at Thanksgiving: A New Corporate Solution to the Obesity Crisis

Hudson Institute

WASHINGTON—As millions of Americans will soon be eating an unhealthy amount of food this holiday season, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Hank Cardello author of Stuffed: An Insider’s Look at Who’s (Really) Making America Fat offers a market solution to our obesity crisis. He asks, “Can capitalism point the way to fixing the nation’s obesity epidemic?”

According to a new report from Hudson Institute’s Obesity Solutions Initiative, food and beverage companies with a higher percentage of their sales coming from “better-for-you” (BFY) foods and beverages perform better financially. These companies record stronger sales growth, higher operating profits, superior shareholder returns, and better company reputations than companies that sell fewer BFY products. This report, released in October, was the first comprehensive look at the business impact of selling such foods and beverages.

“For the first time we now have concrete evidence demonstrating that it’s just good business to sell better-for-you products,” said Hank Cardello, lead author of the report and Director of the Obesity Solutions Initiative at Hudson Institute. “Companies’ bottom lines can benefit from selling these sorts of products.” Cardello is a former executive with Coca-Cola, General Mills, Anheuser-Busch, and Cadbury-Schweppes.

Hudson’s Obesity Solutions Initiative focuses on bringing about practical, market-oriented solutions to the world’s obesity epidemic. The Initiative devises policies and offers market-based solutions to the global obesity epidemic by aligning the needs of all vested partiescorporations, the public health community, consumers, and regulators. More about the initiative can be found at www.obesity-solutions.org.

Cardello proposes a whole new approach to solving childhood and adult obesity. He suggests that:


  • Instead of taxing sodas and fatty foods, incentivize corporations to sell products with fewer calories;
  • Instead of banning ads aimed at children, use marketing to promote healthier foods; and
  • Instead of attacking their profits, show corporations how they can make more by selling more nutritious products.

“Altruism hasn’t worked; it’s time to point business in the right direction,” says Cardello.

He is available to comment: 919-929-0102 or hcardello@hudson.org.

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Hudson Institute is a nonpartisan policy research organization dedicated to innovative research and analysis. Founded in 1961, Hudson is celebrating a half century of forging ideas that promote security, prosperity, and freedom. http://www.hudson.org

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