19 November 2008

Junk Food Stocks Up - and Health Costs, Drug Profits, Waistlines

The headline reads: Burger King up despite downturn

As if this event is at all surprising.

Burger King Holdings Inc. posted higher sales in North America and stood by its full-year profit forecast in the face of an economic downturn. The world's No. 2 hamburger chain said sales at global stores open at least one year rose 3.6 per cent. Same-store sales in North America were up three per cent, helped by menu items like Apple Fries and Kraft Mac & Cheese.

Why would anyone be surprised that individuals and families who likely frequented middle to up-scale restaurants in the past are now turning to Burger King? I've no doubt that the profits of MacDonald's and other fast-food chains are up too.

This is only further evidence of the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the result being a lopsided hourglass with bloated head (wealthy), skeletal torso (upper to lower middle class) and enormous hips (the huge numbers below the poverty line).

Now regarding those expanding hips, this report links the likely rise in obesity with the high corn content in junk food.

Locally grown, organic heirloom tomatoes: $8.59 a kilogram.

One box of organic, low-fat, seven-grain cereal: $5.45.

Double cheeseburger at your favourite fast-food joint: $1.59.

It's an equation that U.S. corn farmers couldn't be happier about.

Yes, you read that right – corn. "The first step in making fast food is to grow an ear of corn," says A. Hope Jahren, the researcher behind a study that found an undeniable link between the two.

Therefore, junk stocks up? Well so go the average Body Mass Index1, the cost to our acute care system, Big Pharma profits, ...

1 There are flaws to the BMI. Consider the premier athlete, someone with above average muscle development and low body fat. It's possible for highly active people to have a high BMI, yet be far from obese and in excellent health.

Recommend this post