As obesity rises, Big Food and dietitians push ‘anti-diet’ advice

April 3, 2024 article by Sasha Chavkin, Caitlin Gilbert, Anjali Tsui and Anahad O’Connor in The Washington Post.

By sponsoring dietitians on social media and funding their own studies, General Mills and other cereal brands are shifting the narrative away from the detrimental physical effects of a high-carbohydrate diet, and highlighting the psychological issues effecting people with sugar addiction.

General Mills has toured the country touting anti-diet research it claims proves the harms of ‘food shaming.’ It has showered giveaways on registered dietitians who promote its cereals online with the hashtag #DerailTheShame, and sponsored influencers who promote its sugary snacks. The company has also enlisted a team of lobbyists and pushed back against federal policies that would add health information to food labels…

“The company has spent more than $2 million in 2022 and 2023 lobbying the federal government, according to data from OpenSecrets, a nonprofit group.

“Efforts by the FDA to regulate food labels have sparked some of the fiercest opposition from General Mills and other leading cereal producers.

“Last February, General Mills and fellow cereal giants Kellogg and Post Consumer Brands threatened legal action over a proposed rule to limit what they are allowed to promote as healthy.