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tv   John Mc Laughlins One on One  PBS  January 27, 2013 9:00am-9:30am PST

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technology. >> atkins, out. it's official, the low-carb diet craze is over. hello, new year. food manufacturers are gearing up to spend millions to redesign their packaging with new labels
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that promote the next new thing. americans bounce out of a diet craze and into the latest food fad. and all the while we grow fatter and fatter, if the government statistics can be believed, is there any new year's resolution you can make that gua fad food crazed society? we'll ask these experts, michael jacobs and tom vierhile. oducts
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were revised this past year in order to meet the requirements of the low-carbiet. are you satisfied that the low-carb diet is truly cratering, it'sn its way out? >> absolutely. i think that low-carb ran out of steam earlier this year. the product launches for low-carb and no-carb products peaked in the month of june and it's been kind of downhill ever since then. this is probably going to go down as one of the great fads in the food industry in probably the past 50 years. >> does that include the south beach diet, this death of
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low-carb fad diet, south beach diet, zone diet, are they also doomed to disaster? >> i don't know. i think they probably will end up as fads but south beach and zone are a lot better than the atkins diet where atkins was recommending bacon and cheese and steaks and all the foods that are high in saturated fat, the kinds that promote heart disease. where south beach was promoting more fruits and vegetables. but it's worth noting that first the atkins diet isn't all bad. it discouraged people from eating white flour and sugar. and we should cut back on those. we should not cut back on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. and the south beach diet is much more open to those. >> those are not the inherent imbalance in that atkins diet, though, isn't that chilling from the start, in other words, the pyramid that we've been taught through the years, the pyramid
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of fr-its and vegetables and fish and poultry. >> and grains. >> and grains. >> correct. >> grains are the base of the pyramid. >> and a combination of those is what is a good, soled diet but atkins flew in the face of that. why was it such a huge -- you say it's the biggest food fad phenomenon that you can remember or that anyone can remember. >> i think a lot of companies jumped on the bandwagon very early on with atkins. they saw it getting popular in 2003. and after that, in 2004, a ton of food products came out addressing the fad. but i think one of the reasons why a lot of companies jumped on is that it was a popular diet because a lot of the foods people like to eat are part of the diet. who doesn't like bacon or steak? >> do you think that -- >> or cheese? >> they disobeyed the diet is because it called for measured portions or was it the thought that you could eat as much as you want? >> i think a lot of the products
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that came out as part of the atkins diet or after the diet became popular really kind of cannibalized the people trying to abide by the diet. you had a lot of snack products, a lot of candies and whatnot that were positioned as low-carb products. a lot of these items should not have been on, were kind of restricted from the diet to begin with. >> does the medical profession contribute to the fadeout of the low-carb diet? >> well, the medical profession was never enthusiastic about the atkins diet. but i think it's worth looking at two points. one is some people did lose weight on the atkins diet. as like any diet, no matter what the diet is, the grapefruit diet, you remember that, all kinds of diets, some people lose weight and they may be helped. but i think for losing weight, the best kind of study to look at is one that looked at people who did lose weight and kept it off. what kind of a diet did they eat. and the overwhelming kind of
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diet was a diet low in fat, low in refined sugars, low in fat, low in refined sugars and people were careful about their calories plus exercise. that helped people lose weight and keep it off better than any other kind of a diet. >> you remember julia childs of course. >> i sure do. >> the host of a widely popular french chef tv series and the author of numerous books. she had one of her interests in thinking about food is the tendency to view food about poison. do you think you're a little bit alarmist, not so much you but michael jacobson, the example directly opposite childs who was a great believer of eating and drinking great cuisine. >> we should get pleasure out of eating. >> do you think sauces are poison, toxic? >> depends what's in them. julia was lucky to have great gene but what we have to remember,
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when you talk about alarmist, the facts are alarming. >> well, is the science -- is the science inclusive? >> the science is conclusive and it's been that way for 20-30 year. we need to cut back on salt, on saturated fat from cheese and meat, cut back on refined sugars and eat a lot more fruits and vegetables and whole grains. >> do you think eating a proper diet can make you healthier or a less healthy diet can make you less healthier. >> absolutely, we have an epidemic not only obesity. >> you think by certain eating you can cure existing ailments. >> absolutely. >> like what? >> like heart disease, like hypertension, those are -- >> cholesterol? >> that's right. those are major, major health problems. cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke kills 650,000 americans a year. much of that, you can't prevent it, everybody's going to die but you can postpone it by eating a
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diet that's low in saturated fats -- >> but, you know, you have to take rabos, i mean, you have to look upon this as, what did the greeks say made in our die, nothing too much. you can have a cone of ice cream -- you used to condemn eggs years ago, did you not. >> egg yolks. >> egg yolks. >> yes. >> and now the opinion is one egg a day is ok and advisable, true. >> no, it's not true. >> no way. >> you can have an egg occasionally. the trouble with american's diet, we do eat on occasion, eg mcmuffin cup of coffee with cream. >> what would julia childs say about an egg mcmuffin. >> itched what we're eat something an egg mcmuffin at mcdonald's, whopper with cheese, that's a different food, for dinner, a pizza with cheese and pepperoni with asteak, variation, a variety of foods, it's all bad.
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it's all high in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in salt. >> what do you do for a living? >> a company proctscan online, aatabase, repor on new product launches. we cover the food and beverage industry. and one of the things you notice from this is there is a lot of movement within the food and beverage industries toward what they call functional foods which are foods that have the potential to cure diseases or take conditions like high blood pressure and reduced blood pressure and things of that nature. this is kind of an emerging area. but as far as weight loss and diet and whatnot, people eat too much and they don't exercise enough. the average american eats 300 more calories a day now than ey did 20 years ago. >> the average -- adult in america is about 2000 calories and that has to be matched off against exercise and that's a good way to approach it whereas dr. jacobson said there are certain ver bothen products you
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shouldn't eat call. >> no -- at all. >> no, i didn't say that. you can have a take -- >> can you have a hamburger. >> yeah. >> doesn't it have transfat by reason of its own content. >> it's the saturated fat in the hamburger is the problem. >> it's not what you can cook it in, canola oil but still -- >> hamburgers are broiled, but it's the sat rated fat in the hamburgers. >> a certain amount of saturated fat is ok, you will allow, for a hamburger what once a week? >> depends on your diet. the problem is -- if i say eat a hamburger once a week, people will say ok, i'll have a hamburger once a week, fried eggs in the morning, a whopper. >> what's a whopper. >> a cheeseburger at lunch. >> one or two hamburgers in a bun with cheese. >> yeah. a pizza. >>hat is simple, on its face, it's suicidal, is it not? >> you can have one. the problem is americans don't just eat one. they have one for lunch and then
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they have pizza for dinner and then fried onion as an appetizer and ben and jerry's ice cream for dessert. >> you're talking about human conventions and why is that? the larger question is we have the opposite of a slowness society, have you heard of the slowness society movement, the slowness movement or the mind fullness movement where you appreciate the pleasure, you go out and have a meal as the italian culture usually does and they extend the meal and you act like a civilized human being instead of living not in the future but in tomorrow and the next day and the next day? >> well, if you had a pepperoni pizza slowly that would not help your arteries. >> no, but i'm -- what i'm saying is you're driven into the pepperoni pizza repetition phenomenon by the requirement to have fast foods in order to liberate yourself from the activities of the day so you can move towards tomorrow. >> that's the problem. >> you sense that, don't you? >> absolutely. >> why don't you condemn that as well as condemning t food
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phenomenon. i mean, you've got a larger issue here. have you thought of mindfulness? >> i haven't thought. >> this is, some yoga, buddhism. >> john, we have our hands busy -- in america, kids are encouraged to eat junk almost from the time they're born. they see junk food ads on television from the time they're 2. they're fed sugar frosted flakes, they go to school and eat salty foods in the school lump program. there are 3 million soft drink vending machines. >> we're into a commercial problem, that's his area. what kind of avalanche of junk food have your market years exhibited that is demonstrable in your studies? >> i think looking at the schools and things like that there has been a grassroots movement within the schools to get rid of a lot of the vending machines and replace them with things like bottled water, yogurt type drinks, fruit drinks and bottled water, things of that nature. and even snacks, you've got
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organic type snacks, natural snacks, snack bars which are replacing things like candy bar and tato chips. those are some products we're seeing a lot of. a lot of the snack bar-type products. and the diet is getting more healthful. things like smoothies, for instance, are something relatively recent where people are consuming more of those or milk-type things. >> basically minor type things at this point, though. >> are there so-called healthy carbated beverages, 7 up plus, coal ka cola 2. >> what is taking place there? what is going into the product that makes it less harmful and indeed, if you believe the marketeers, good for your health? >> they're trying to put calcium, they're trying to put some vitamins in those products, they're trying to give consumers a positive reason to purchase those products because we did a study on the beverage industry for productscan which found out that the soft drink industry, soft drinks have the lowest
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percentage, outside of coffee, the coffee industry, for making any kind of a functional claim, like a product is high in vitamins or minerals or something of that nature. so they're very vulnerable to nutritional criticism. >> what do you think about the thought of fortified fries or potato chips, would that solve your problem? >> no, if the underlying food is junk, like a sugary breakfast cereal, adding vitamins to it does not turn it into a health food. and what we really need here, we have a path, though,genic diet in america, it's killing hundreds of thousands of people a year. we need government programs to force the food industry to improve its products, force the restaurant industry to disclose the calorie content, right up on the men >> how about transfats? >> get rid -- >> talking about the 440 billion-dollar restaurant industry. >> that's right. get it to list calories on the menu boards and on menus. >> you think the restaurateurs are going to sit idly by when you go to congress and try to mer suede congress?
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>> of course not. they're opposing it in every way they can. they know if people knew how many calories were in those foods they would eat less. >> fortified bread, that's been around a long time, what do you think of that? >> partially restored white flour, white bread, is better than just plain white bread. we should be eating whole grains, we should be eating wholesome diets and the government should be mounting major campaigns to encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, low-fat animal products. that's the core of the diet. >> there's a minnesota-based company, immune soda, amino acids and marketed as, quote, unquote get this preventative maintenance, what do you think of that? >> sounds like a vitamin pill in sugar water. >> sounds to you like a scam?
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be careful now. >> it's one of these mixed things that it does have some good thing in it but some bad things. but on that product, i don't know what it's made of so i can't tell you but when you start -- you mentioned -- what have if they had vitamin fortified french fries, is that a good food? probably not. we have vitamin fortified bread, we ought to be eating whole grains. >> air force nutri soda. >> i have heard of that. and that company produces other fortified products they have one for skin care too. >> you take this drink and it has an immunizing function and you go on an airplane and if somebody sneezes up two rows from you and this creates a screen so to speak. >> i don't know. >> that's what they're advertising. >> for all of these products, echinacea, st. john's wort, ginkgo, virtually no evidence of any benefit.
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>> here's what they say, boost your immune system, do you believe that. >> not for a second. >> are we into the federal trade commission. >> that's right and food and drug administration. >> what do they do? >> almost nothing. >> why? >> because they have almost no staffing and they don't have the motivation. if congress -- if industry would get congress to step it. >> that's pay dirt. in 2005, the food-makers and the food-marketers will roll out the next new thing. what will be that new year's food fad? we'llut that question to our guest but first, here are their distinguished profiles. >> born in new york, near rochester, 42 years of age, wife, amy, three children. catholic. politics, independent. saint bonaventure university new york. b.s. marketing. state university of new york at buffalo, mba. marketing intelligence service, a subsidiary of data monitor, a
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company headquartered in london, england. general manager, naples, new york, 10 years and currently. lookout magazine formerly published by marketing intelligence service. editor eight years. productscan online, a database of new consumer package goods, executive editor 10 years and currently. health products, business magazine. a trade journal, columnist five years and currently. hobby, skiing, auto racing. tom, robert vierhile. born chicago 61 years of age, dauger dna. e dauter. jewish. democrat. university of chicago, b.s. chemistry. massachusetts institute of technology, ph.d., micro biology. center for science in the public interest, a nonprofit public health advocacy association with over 8,000 members. cofounder and executive director
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33 years and currently. author, numerous books, including "restaurant confidential," "marketing madness," and "what are we feeding our kids?" hobbies, photography biking, michael faraday jacobsson. >> what is the current thinking on alcohol? >> in small amounts can be ok. >> can be or will be? >> can be. not necessarily will be. and people shouldn't start drinking to reduce the risk of heart disease. >> how about two four-ounce glasses much wine a day? sound about right? >> to me it sounds like a lot. but -- >> i'm giving you what comes right out of the literature. two beers a day, four ounces of hard liquor. >> it could be ok. >> unless you've got active liver disease or pang key i tights. >> tendency to alcoholism. people should not -- >> is it not not true, doctors,
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the medical profession in this country did a coverup for years and years and years about the positive potential of alcohol by trying to -- and in so doing, by avoiding the excessive imbibing that comes with alcohol, do you follow m were they trying to be better than they really had to be and was there a large coverup? >> i don't think there was a coverup. red wine, vest elevator i troll, good for the heart and circulatory system, that was a good thing. maybe it was an overreaction to the fact that they didn't want to be seen as advocating alcohol on surgeries given societal problems with alcohol and the expense of taking care of those problems so it's possible the medical community took that stance. >> you think you've got a cultural problem beyond your abily to contract, look at our history of faddism in this country, it goes way beyond food.
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do you remember the barbie doll. >> and the hula hoop. >> you remember the twist, the charleston, the gibson girl, you're old -- not quite? how about the pet rock which has to be the biggest scam of all time $3.95, toilet training for the pet rock, folks, total scam. goldfish swallowing, toga parties. >> yeah, but john -- >> hula hoop. >> the bottom line here, the boom lines that diet is contributing to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths every year. government needs to be deeply involved in helping people eat healthier diets. >> you don't understand. this is a faddist culture. we love innovation. we love to be part of the collectivity that now is in the know about the next best thing and that helps us to share, and in so doing, to unify in this particular social group. >> it's not the only characteristic of our society. we're a seat belt-using society no we're moving towards nonsmoking
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in this society. we need to do the same with our diet. >> fads, in the food fads we had the oat and bran fad of a few years ago. then we had a low sodium fad. what did you think of that? and where has that gone? >> it's -- well, it's very important. salt causes high blood pressure, it's killing over 100,000 people a year. >> high blood pressure. >> high blood pressure. >> or salt induced high blood pressure. >> the salt's part of promoting gh blood pressure. >> does that add another layer of deaths? >> the former head of the national heart, lung and blood institute claude lon font estimated if we cut our sodium in half we could save 150,000 lives a year. >> really? >> salt is big. >> what are the various sources of sodium are there besides salt? >> packaged foods, restaurant foods, they're all loaded with salt. we've got to cut them back. >> so sodium is coterminus with
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salt, salt is sodium, sodium is salt, sodium doesn'tave any other expression. >> it comes in sodium glute i mate -- >> msg still as bad as it was 20 years ago? >> no one wants to put it in their products. >> i sprinkle it on my steaks before i cook them. >> no one is sensitive to them. >> do you think it's going to kill me? >> if it hasn't yet i think you'll be ok. >> what else have you observed, what is germane to what you do, like you're seeing this huge product flow,ow my different products? >> this year alone we're looking at food products, probably food and beverage products, about 15,000. >> in your whole commodity review how many products are there? >> if you look at worldwide, we're probably reporting anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000 a year and that's not just food and beverage but it's health and beauty and households and pet.
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>> have you looked at cad berry's schwepps and what it's doing to it, juice in it, rather than low-carb, they fortify it with juice and a couple other things. >> been done before, sli with pepsi was done 10 years ago, 15 years ago. so it's -- >> does it work? >> it did work at that time. the line extending it and kept adding flairs and different things and collapsed on itself. >> have you ever given testimony before congress? >> no. >> has anybody in your organization? >> i don't think so. >> no, ftc hearing, federal trade commission. >> we try to avoid the legal community as much as we can, i guess. >> what do you think of the intrusion of government? michael is quite open to that. fortifying what is necessary for the public good. do you go as far as -- do you go in the same direction? >> no, i don't think so. i think the markets, if they're -- if they're allowed to -- >> well, we just discussed how sodium disappeared.
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>> sodium disappeared because people hated the taste of low sodium products. the other reason that sodium disappeared is that the industry has not come up with substitutes for sodium like they have for sugar. >> what about salt substitute, that was around. >> it's hard to replace all the salt, but companies could knock it down. if you loo at any particular product like sliced cheese you'll see that one brand has 50% more salt than another. >> do you think atkins was a charlotte iton. >> i don't think so. i think he was a little bit out of the mainstream. he believed very strongly he had an answer to overweight, obesity and everything like that so i don't think testifies a charlotte iton. >> it's crashing now, that whole operation. $53 million worth of expired foods have to be unloaded. they've laid off 40% ofrkrce an0 marketing budget in half. there is a very serious question in this, though, and that appears to be transfat. there is toxicity.
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that is the area where it is. >> it causes heart disease. >> ok. >> it raises the bad cholesterol and lowers the good cholesterol. >> i want to know -- i want to understand that it is hydrogenated oil and that canola oil is not hydrogenated so the thing to do is to cook in canola oil like french fries and you do therefore thwart the effect of tranats, is that correct? >> you prevent the pduction of transfat. more and more companies are moving in that direction. and if you talked about -- >> should they lift the -- list tion is requiring it one year from now. >> have you also taken action with your group to effect the kind of change we're talking about? >> oh, yeah. >> what have you asked for? >> in 1993 we started asking the fda to label transfat. in 2004 we asked the fda to -- >> do you think -- you deal on the marketing level all the time. do you think restaurateurs ought to put on their menu the volume of transfat in the foods? >> i think they should because
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the thing that, from a consumer perspective, people are eating out, they're not preparing their own food, people don't cook nowadays, they go to fast-food restaurants, fast casual restaurants and have no idea approximate. >> our time has expired. thank you, tom and michael. fast show. excellent.
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