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The BBC reported that the Bush administration is questioning the anti-junk food approach advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in addressing the global obesity epidemic.

The Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health - a plan drawn up by the WHO after consultations with numerous nutritional experts and food companies - specifically blames poor diets and lack of exercise for causing illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. The plan calls for worldwide daily recommendations for lower daily consumption of sugar, salt, and fat., as well as restrictions on food advertisements aimed at children. Predicting that weight-related deaths globally are likely to double over the next 20 years, the WHO suggests that there is "good food" and "bad food."

According to a document leaked to the BBC, the Bush administration reportedly says that science has not established that there is "good food" and "bad food," and that acceptable levels of sugar, fat and salt have not yet been established.

Senior U.S. health department official William Steiger, who sits on the WHO board, reportedly has written a letter to the WHO saying that the plan does not meet US scientific standards. He told The Washington Post last week that the US is looking for "a whole series of potential changes." He said, "What's lacking is the notion of personal responsibility as opposed to what the government can do."
KC's View:
If the US government thinks that there is no such thing as "good food" and "bad food," and that science hasn't clearly established that there are limits to how much sugar, salt and fat one should consume, it would appear to occupy a lonely place in the scientific community.

The BBC notes that the Bush administration is being criticized for trying to protect major food companies by objecting to the WHO proposed regulations. We're not sure that this is a fair criticism…mostly because both the actions and the intention expressed by companies such as Kraft and PepsiCo would suggest that these companies have accepted something that the Bush administration hasn't.