As a senior vice president for food giant ConAgra, Pat Verduin yesterday entered a potential lion's den -- a Harvard obesity symposium filled with health experts alarmed by Americans' eating habits.I have lately been reading Harvard epidemiologist Walter Willett's Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy.
During the rare encounter between corporate food makers and some of their most stringent critics, she flashed a slide showing her firm's healthier brands, like Healthy Choice and Egg Beaters, but then sought to soften the crowd: ''We make Slim Jims. I'm going to be honest with you," said Verduin, to laughter.
The Harvard Medical School two-day symposium, attended by about 140 people yesterday, took place against a backdrop of considerable alarm over childhood obesity. The concern is particularly felt in the halls of Harvard and its affiliated hospitals, whose researchers have played a central role studying and publicizing the obesity problem....
The symposium was funded through grants from McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Dannon, and a number of other food makers.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Harvard, the food business, and obesity
Several of my students attended Harvard's high-profile obesity conference last week (skipping class!), and came back with interesting things to say. Here is the Boston Globe's nice summary:
Posted 7:28 PM