Junk Food Politics

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Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Health Policy and Politics at Lehigh University Eduardo J. Gómez chats with Trey Elling about ⁠JUNK FOOD POLITICS: HOW BEVERAGE AND FAST FOOD INDUSTRIES ARE RESHAPING EMERGING ECONOMIES⁠. Topics include:

  • The book’s inspiration (0:52)
  • Why he focused on Mexico, Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, and South Africa (4:10)
  • What he means by ‘junk food industry’ (5:15)
  • How junk food politics is a two-way street (6:21)
  • How the junk food industry is operating on its own fear (7:22)
  • NAFTA’s influence on the rise of junk food consumption in Mexico (10:33)
  • Why these countries’ presidents allow junk food to sway public health policy (12:19)
  • Whether Mexico’s soda & junk food tax has helped (16:09)
  • Coca Cola exploiting feminism in India (18:18)
  • Why junk food consumption exploded in Brazil in the mid-1990s (19:49)
  • Junk food’s influence on Brazil’s Zero Fome public health campaign (23:11)
  • The role of India’s agricultural sector and food production in its junk food problems (25:59)
  • India’s history of malnourishment harming parents’ perception of what makes for a healthy kid (27:33)
  • India’s attempts to limit junk food around schools (29:55)
  • Coca Cola’s roller coaster historical relationship with China (33:11)
  • Snacking as a reflection of China’s unique history (35:20)
  • Big Junk Food’s blatant marketing to kids in China (36:36)
  • Coca Cola embedding itself into China’s academic community (38:40)
  • Nelson Mandela’s initial hostility toward Coca Cola in the early 1990s (39:49)
  • Indonesia unique relationship with junk foods& beverages (44:06)
  • The Indonesian government’s revolving door problem (46:29)
  • A country that does a good job combatting junk food politics for the good of public health (47:22)
  • Whether Eduardo is optimistic or pessimistic about the future (52:12)