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Who is the real culprit

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Old 02-19-2007, 04:08 PM   #1
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Default Who is the real culprit

Now let me just preface this random musing by saying I am NOT trying to get into a personal responsibility debate. I think all the lawsuits are crap.

BUT...

There has been so much blame laid at the feet of the fast food industry for the growing obesity trend in the US. Lawsuits. Yes, over the years their portions have grown, and yes it is primarily unhealthy food, but for the most part fast food hasnt changed that much.

I was just thinking...if you are going to blame some corporation...why not blame starbucks? I mean they took an ADDICTIVE product. (Caffeine is by definition an addictive drug, junk food is a little more nebulous as some degree of fat/carb is necessary to live) Anyway, they took an addictive product, made it MORE addictive (the level of caffeine in a starbucks coffee oz/oz is more than double the level of the most common coffee mode of the time, our friend the drip) served it larger sizes to make it even MORE addictive. They added sugar and fat in quantities WAY beyond even a "2 sugar/2 cream" person. They targeted a much more vulnerable youth market and created a whole new market (NObody my age drank coffee when I was in high-school - now you see 12 year old kids bellying up with a latte) by making it taste more like candy than coffee. I was a serious coffee addict and a 2/2 gal in college and I still in the course of a day didnt equal the calories in a single venti mocha. Good god, if those 8 cups of coffee I had in college were mochas The only saving grace is the astronomical price.

Unfortunately, now the starbucks addicts move it into their home to save money. My last job had an espresso machine, 6 flavors of syrups, and all the accessories to make a "hot milkshake" right at work. Free of charge. Old time coffee addicts drank it black.

Anyway, just random musings...a gal has a lot of time to think when she is trapped under a nursing baby
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:15 PM   #2
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Yeah, so true. Drinks are more dangerous in a way, too, because it doesn't seem like there could possibly be so many calories and fat in a beverage.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:25 PM   #3
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Yeah, so true. Drinks are more dangerous in a way, too, because it doesn't seem like there could possibly be so many calories and fat in a beverage.
Yeah - that was my other point too. I mean I always new McD's was bad. In many ways I think I tended to OVER estimate how bad fast food was compared to other food. But I know tons of people who are flat out stunned when they learn how bad a starbucks drink is.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:31 PM   #4
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Sorry, everybody, but I have a real problem with "blaming" the providers/enablers let alone "suing" them. No body forces us to have the stuff.

Just my opinion of course, but I would think that the coffee places and the fast food joints would clean up their acts if the public put enough pressure on them for "healthier' stuff.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:41 PM   #5
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I wouldn't even consider *blaming* starbucks for my longstanding coffee habit.... I always knew that some of their styles were loaded with calories, it's pretty obvious. it's like any other food/recipe, YOU decide how much. People should take responsibility for what they put in their mouth/swallow.

(I drink about 6-7 cups before I get to work, thne switch to herbal tea)
I drink it black, drink it with a bit of flavored creamer and splenda (used be Equal before that Sweetnlow)...coffee syrups come in diet too. Now the powdered flavors are done with splenda....it's your option.I bought a froth maker (manual hand pump) works best with cold fat free milk.


We have a Starbucks in the building where I work, if I need a coffee there are light options there too.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:43 PM   #6
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Sorry, everybody, but I have a real problem with "blaming" the providers/enablers let alone "suing" them. No body forces us to have the stuff.

Just my opinion of course, but I would think that the coffee places and the fast food joints would clean up their acts if the public put enough pressure on them for "healthier' stuff.
Yeah.. I think that wasn't really ennay's point though. The discussion of personal responsibility has been had many times in the different 3FC forums. I think she was more just pointing out that we always think about hamburgers and fries but what about the lattes with caramel and whipped cream etc.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:49 PM   #7
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Maybe someday there will be Starbucks commercials discussing kicking caffeine addiction just like Philip Morris offers wisdom to kick tobacco.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:55 PM   #8
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Unfortunately, they are all business and they are out to make money, if we will buy it, no matter how bad it is for us, they will keep selling it. Notice how there is never a "nutritional values" label on any of their wrappers -- if most people were provided this information before they ate/drank these things, they would probably throw it in the garbage!! People know how bad cigarettes are but it's still a million dollar industry.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:56 PM   #9
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OOPS . . . You are absolutely right . . . too bad I'm getting so old I can't remember the first sentence, by the time I get to the end of the post.

And on the real point of the thread . . . I agree, it is definitely not just the Fast food outlets that pander to our bad, eating and drinking habits.
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:55 PM   #10
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I was also just saying...well, their timing is more in line for when the obesity epidemic really took off. Fast food has been around for a lot longer. But starbucks hit right when the overweight nation started really becoming an obese nation. Which came first...the chicken or the egg.

No, by all means I am NOT blaming starbucks. I just find it odd that while lawyers are going after McD's like rabid wolves, I have yet to see a "starbucks gave me diabetes" lawsuit. I would think there would be at least as much of a basis given the addictive nature of the product, the marketing and the timing in the obesity epidemic.

Crud...if I see a headline next week I will feel like it is my fault.

And really, it probably isnt as much of a big deal elsewhere, but it really was several years after SB was big out here that the info about their super caffeinated status came to light. Now it is well known, but I remember when the first article came out it was a huge deal.
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:51 PM   #11
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Default Misleading marketing = mistaken health choices

I agree that people should be responsible for their own weight, however, I feel people are missing a key point about these restaurants. Many fast food joints have advertised their products as having "healthy" and "low fat" options, when in fact they are anything but. Watch the movie "Supersize Me" and you'll learn how McDonald's fruit and yogurt parfait has a ton of sugar in it. More imporantly, all of the salads have some kind of bacon (except for the garden salad). And the fruit & yogurt "meal" costs nearly twice as much as a Happy Meal. One thing the movie points out is that the marketing plans are designed to get children thinking of McDonald's at an early age. Scary thought.

Does this mean that we can blame McDonald's and other fast food vendors for our weight and other unhealthy food choices? Absolutely not. Everyone knows that food is bad for you. Even though the fast food places target children with their advertising and toy prizes, it's up to the parents to exercise control. It's also up to everyone one of us to be informed and make our own health choices. But how much control can you exercise when you are being given false and misleading information?

These restaurant chains need some measure of accountability, but lawsuits aren't the answer. Thankfully, due to new regulations, many of the fast food places now post their nutrition values of their products. Also, there are consumer watch dogs and websites that help uncover misleading and incorrect information. It's my hope that such measures will help people change bad eating habits, reduce childhood obesity and ultimately result in a healthier population. But it's up to us, not them, to effectuate change. Never underestimate the power of the market and how you can use its forces to bring about change.

Good luck to everyone.
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:17 PM   #12
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Starbucks is simply giving the public what they want. Otherwise, their sales would be in the red. People who are addicted to caffein (I'll reserve my opinion on it being a "real" addiction :P) were addicted BEFORE Starbucks. If they went there for the sweeter, creamier and larger coffees, they did so of their own free will. No more so or less than in going to McDs. I don't blame either and don't see the purpose in it.

But if I personally want a fattening drink, I'd choose McDs milkshake over Starbucks as I don't drink coffee. Although I did have a Starbucks hot chocolate once. This was AFTER I'd lost my weight, during a long and late trip, in the middle of winter. It was the BEST hot chocolate I've ever had. That was 2 years ago, I've never had another. So at least I know the hot chocolate isn't addictive.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:00 PM   #13
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Big ol eye roll.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:32 PM   #14
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I was just thinking...if you are going to blame some corporation...why not blame starbucks?
I'd blame 7-11 and the 44 oz Super Big Gulp before I'd blame Starbucks.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:26 AM   #15
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Ooooh that is another good one Glory, I forgot about those. I had a male coworker who just couldnt lose weight. Then one day I saw him with the HUGE Mt. Dew super big gulp. 64 oz? I think. I think I calculated it was 960 calories? Something like that. Every day.

See there are lots of places...fast food is just too easy a target.
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