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Growing Waistlines, Growing Profits: Who Should Be Looking Out for America’s Health in a World of Processed Food?

  • Date: 15 May
  • Location: Cook Auditorium, Tuck School
  • Time: 4:30 p.m.

Growing Waistlines, Growing Profits
Who Should Be Looking Out for America’s Health in a World of Processed Food?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
Cook Auditorium, Tuck School of Business
4:30pm – 6:00pm: Screening of Hungry for Change
6:00pm – 7:30pm: Panel Discussion and Q&A
Opening remarks by Dean Paul Danos,
Moderated by Professor Paul A. Argenti

Should consumers and regulators tolerate corporations that grow profits by growing Americans’ waistlines? Michael Moss’s highly-publicized book, Salt, Sugar, Fat, among others, has reignited public debate about how large food companies may be contributing to the general decline in health of the U.S. population, including the obesity epidemic. It may sound like science fiction, but menu items such as the 3,000 calorie “Bloomin’ Onion” have been engineered by food scientists to perfectly hit the bliss point of consumer’s taste buds and trigger an unstoppable desire to consume. Due to the overabundance of dietary choices available in the marketplace, critics allege that food companies can only increase sales by encouraging consumers to eat larger and more frequent meals. Industry supporters contend that they are helping busy people more conveniently feed themselves and their families, and that they are working to increase the nutritional content of their food. providing busy consumers with convenient and affordable food options while balancing the tradeoff of nutritional content and taste.

Are the arguments against food companies even true or fair? Also, how can business leaders in any industry balance their responsibility to multiple stakeholders—shareholder, consumers, and regulators—with competing and contradictory interests? This panel discussion will provide a reality check. Panelists will include:

Paul A. Argenti
Professor of Corporate Communication at The Tuck School Of Business
Panel Moderator

David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP
Founding Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center

Christopher Koller
Health Insurance Commissioner, State of Rhode Island

Richard Starmann
Former Head of Corporate Communication at McDonald’s

Lisa Sutherland, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Senior Nutrition Scientist with the Hood Center for Families and Children at Dartmouth Medical School
Former Vice President of Nutrition at Kellogg Company

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