Neoliberal obesity and coronavirus in Mexico - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15139023
Belen Fernandez wrote:Neoliberal obesity and coronavirus in Mexico

American capital brought high rates of chronic disease to Mexico which has led to a surging COVID-19 death toll.

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In August, the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca banned the sale of junk food and sugary drinks to children under the age of 18. Mexico’s Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell, who has denounced soda as “bottled poison”, expressed support for the new law, which has begun to catch on in other Mexican states as well.
...

In recent years, Mexico has vied with the US for the title of most obese nation on earth – three-fourths of adults there are overweight, and at least one in 10 have diabetes. Oaxaca, one of the poorest Mexican states, has among the highest obesity levels and the highest child obesity rate in the country.

Indeed, Mexicans drink more soda per capita than any other country in the world, and former Mexican President Vicente Fox was once the CEO of Coca-Cola Mexico. In 2017, diabetes became the nation’s number one killer.
...

Behind the ever-convenient facade of “free trade” – which in contexts involving the US generally means the US is free to do as it pleases while the rest of the participating countries are free to suck it up – NAFTA enabled the US to flood the Mexican market with sugary drinks, processed foods, and other staples of noxious, corporate-driven existence.

American fast food chains and convenience stores rapidly proliferated, and, as the New York Times noted in a report headlined A Nasty, NAFTA-Related Surprise: Mexico’s Soaring Obesity, Walmart was the country’s largest food retailer as of 2017. This in a country whose traditional cuisine appears on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity...


I have a good friend from Mexico who offers me a Gatorade each time we go biking. Meanwhile, I make home-made "Mexican Gatorade" with cold water, lime juice and salt. Why does over-priced commercial shit do so well in this market? And how can Mexicans - with one of the finest cuisines on the planet - eat fastfood shit so much?

No entiendo.

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Guacamole or McDonald's special sauce? Is this really a hard choice?
#15139740
Not a Mexico story, but a hero that inspired Mexican youth (along with youth all over the world), Argentinian football hero Maradona passed away today. He also battled an adulthood scarred by obesity, drug use, and alcohol use, much like Michael Jackson, and many other celebrities that ordinary people worship.

Sports heroes are promoted by commerce in order to draw young eyeballs to advertising, like this board.

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While poor kids in ghettos are watching their heroes, their little minds are being re-programmed by advertising to respond "favorably" to products that will make them sick and obese. By taking part in this, "sports" personalities are promoting poor health choices that negatively affect the ability for kids to make wise health choices.

And kids who grow up eating unhealthy food become adults who continue to do so, and then develop life-damaging health problems.

RIP Diego Maradona
age 60

#15139747
QatzelOk wrote:Guacamole or McDonald's special sauce? Is this really a hard choice?

As you say, this is a choice of the consumer, and of parents for their kids too. No capitalist has ever forced a chicken mcnugget or bottle of coke down anyone's throat. They're simply providing a good that people obviously want and choose to consume. And spicing it up with Happy Meal marketing.

It's up to us ultimately to not buy this stuff. If people didn't want to eat McDonalds/Coke they those companies would have failed in Mexico. Sugar, salt, and fat are the drugs corporations legally sell to us, like cigarettes and alcohol.
#15139776
Unthinking Majority wrote:They're simply providing a good that people obviously want and choose to consume. And spicing it up with Happy Meal marketing.

When you say that this type of food is something that people "obviously want and choose to consume," are you saying that the people of Mexico were just killing time making complex and delicious food from local ingredients, while they waited around for some large corporation to "market" oil and salt to them?

"Won't some kind corporation come along and spend billions marketing their food products to children?

The "Happy Meal" marketing in the ad is aimed squarely at child psychology. At the age of the boy in the ad, kids look for adults who they love so that they can imitate them.

Just look at how that kid eats his Big Mac and fries in the same way that his hero does.

That's great child manipulation. Lots of kids got fat and ruined their relationship to health because of ads like this. And Maradona was already wealthy when he did this ad, so it was just "extra" for him to use his face to sell poison to millions of children who went on to make bad health decisions because "sports hero" told us to.
#15139789
QatzelOk wrote:When you say that this type of food is something that people "obviously want and choose to consume," are you saying that the people of Mexico were just killing time making complex and delicious food from local ingredients, while they waited around for some large corporation to "market" oil and salt to them?

"Won't some kind corporation come along and spend billions marketing their food products to children?

Marketing is a factor otherwise companies would spend on ads, but people wouldn't eat this stuff if they didn't like it. If it tasted like ass they wouldn't keep going back. McDonald's french fries are like so damn good they're like crack, which is a reason people keep going back. Then you add a toy and sugary drinks and milkshakes and kids want to go, and adults too.

What I'm saying is that people have free will and need to accept some responsibility for their actions. The nutritional facts on these horribly unhealthy foods are right on the box. What do we do, ban McDonalds and Coke? Then it could go underground like other drugs. You can market the crap out of root beer, but it likely won't sell more than coke because coke tastes better to most people. Coke used to literally have cocaine in it, then they replaced the cocaine with another addictive white powder called sugar.

Sugary cereal is marketed the exact same way to kids. Stick a toy in the box, put colourful cartoon characters in commercials & on the box, then throw vitamins in it and market it as a breakfast meal. Candy is marketed to kids too. This is arguably unethical, but parents need to accept responsibility here too. I understand people who want to regulate it though.

The "Happy Meal" marketing in the ad is aimed squarely at child psychology. At the age of the boy in the ad, kids look for adults who they love so that they can imitate them.

Just look at how that kid eats his Big Mac and fries in the same way that his hero does.

That's great child manipulation. Lots of kids got fat and ruined their relationship to health because of ads like this. And Maradona was already wealthy when he did this ad, so it was just "extra" for him to use his face to sell poison to millions of children who went on to make bad health decisions because "sports hero" told us to.

If you eat McDonald's once a month you won't get fat, it can be a treat. It's when you eat it a lot and then eat other bad foods like this frequently you get fat.

What do you think is the solution? Personal responsibility, or government regulation? As I said, I get both arguments.

I might go for a compromise where the government runs public awareness campaigns on healthy eating and dangers of these things to our health, and make sure ingredients and health facts are clearly labelled so people can make informed decisions. I can tell you that anti-drug ads by the government helped keep me away from drugs.
#15139800
Unthinking Majority wrote:As you say, this is a choice of the consumer, and of parents for their kids too. No drug dealer has ever forced a syringe of heroin into anyone's veins or line of coke up anyone's nose. They're simply providing a good that people obviously want and choose to consume. And spicing it up with happy smiley faces on the tabs of acid.

It's up to us ultimately to not buy this stuff. If people didn't want to snort coke or smoke meth then those drug cartels would have failed in Mexico. Sugar, salt, and fat are the drugs corporations legally sell to us, like heroin and cocaine.
#15139806
Potemkin wrote:As you say, this is a choice of the consumer, and of parents for their kids too. No drug dealer has ever forced a syringe of heroin into anyone's veins or line of coke up anyone's nose. They're simply providing a good that people obviously want and choose to consume. And spicing it up with happy smiley faces on the tabs of acid.

It's up to us ultimately to not buy this stuff. If people didn't want to snort coke or smoke meth then those drug cartels would have failed in Mexico. Sugar, salt, and fat are the drugs corporations legally sell to us, like heroin and cocaine.

Right. They've tried to ban narcotics, and put the sellers and even users in jail. It hasn't worked. What is the solution? Even if there was communism and everyone made the same money and poverty was eliminated many people would still be using drugs, although maybe less.

If you try an illegal narcotic you're an idiot. Everyone knows how bad they are. The solution is for people to be aware of the consequences and not try these things. If they try anyways, should we feel sorry for them?

The problem with food is you're often hooked at a young age, it's often your parents who bought you the crappy food at first. Now you're an adult with an addiction. But you still have free will, it's just much harder. I will never let my children eat the amount of bad crap I ate growing up.
#15139823
Unthinking Majority wrote:Right. They've tried to ban narcotics, and put the sellers and even users in jail. It hasn't worked. What is the solution?

Perhaps, "the solution" to the heroin dealer's inability to get people to try and love their products... is to hire sophisticated marketing types who can market their "delicious, mouth-watering heroin" to children using child psychology?

Maybe the McNarcos could exploit a heroic sports figure to "shoot heroin in front of a child admirer" on a TV ad?

...

Here, I am emphasizing the way multinationals exploit all pop culture, and child psychology to sell products to people who wouldn't have otherwise bought them (thus, the need for marketing). But adults also have a psychology that can be exploited to get zombie-like consumption of "newly-loved poisons."

Child marketing using sports heroes also demonstrates how little love or respect capitalism has for children's lives or health. They would jam a syringe into your child's arm... if any government would "liberalize" this strategy for them (and for kickbacks).
#15139827
Unthinking Majority wrote:As you say, this is a choice of the consumer, and of parents for their kids too. No capitalist has ever forced a chicken mcnugget or bottle of coke down anyone's throat. They're simply providing a good that people obviously want and choose to consume. And spicing it up with Happy Meal marketing.

It's up to us ultimately to not buy this stuff. If people didn't want to eat McDonalds/Coke they those companies would have failed in Mexico. Sugar, salt, and fat are the drugs corporations legally sell to us, like cigarettes and alcohol.


No Unthinking, the marketing 'genius' know that messages are everything. How do human beings create habits or thoughts in their head? By communication. If you communicate a lot about how fun, and wonderful and warm and social it is to enjoy a happy meal with your son or daughter and that is sold to kids on TV or on their phones? Guess what? They pressure the parents to give it to them.

They nag the mom or dad, "I want to go to McDonald's." You calmly tell the kid, "that stuff is poison. I am not buying that stuff for you." They cry, "But Joelito next door has a toy from the McDonald's happy meal. It is a cool toy. I want the toy and I like the hamburgers. Why are you being mean to me?" You have to fight with your own kid to reprogram them from the poison shit. I had to do it. All parents got to do it. Many parents are dead tired from working long hours at some job that pays not much and the kid happy meal is $1.50 at a Mexican McDonald's. In fact, most Mexicans see McDonald's as a 'luxury' restaurant. It is way too expensive for most working class Mexicans that work in the informal economy. They eat a bunch of traditional food at little street stands that are totally illegal in the USA due to the health department and first world bureaucratic red tape.

The corporations have gone into Mexican markets and pushed Coca-Cola, french fries and hamburgers down the throats of Yucatecans for decades. It is effective. Most Yucatecans buy Coke by the gallons and they consume it daily to the point of epidemic diabetes in this population. the UADY (la Universidad Autonoma del Yucatan) did a study and the formula of Coke in Mexico is very very addicting. Especially for hot climates in which many workers that work in the heat and humidity fixing roofs and doing construction and hard labor need instant sugar boosts and caffeine to get the cheapest energy level to do the work. They then crash. But since there has not been a campaign to promote traditional Mexican drinks like sabila (aloe vera water), chaya con pina (Pineapple with chaya, Tamarind and others? The Coke people are incredibly powerful in Mexico and well connected. Vicente Fox the ex president of Mexico who is a neoliberal by the way, was the chief executive officer of Coca Cola in Mexico. He was and is incredibly wealthy and promoted Coca Cola for years.

These marketing experts are incredibly powerful in shaping the 'preferences' of the public. they use the idea of you are not cool unless you drink Coca Cola, your kids are not 'modern' if they don't drink the drink of the successful North American USA society, etc. etc. It is all lies and shit. But that is capitalist marketing.

My problem now is that my little son who is nine years old doesn't like eating out. He prefers his mother's cooking now ALL THE TIME. Lol. And when I am tired and try to convince him to go out to eat so I can get a break from the heat in the kitchen? He refuses. So I have to plan my meals all the time. It is a bit labor intensive. But? I don't really work and can stay home and do that. How many working parents in Mexico with zero income with a pandemic and no welfare state income or food banks that are reliable here can afford to do that eh? Almost none. The marketing people are clever. They are getting a big push back from the AMLO the Mexican president. The "Secretaria de Salud" the health department is labeling all the junk food with BIG FAT stop signs saying, "Bad for your health, bad for kids, too much salt, too much fat, too many calories, too much sugar. Campaigns of 'this is terrible for your health. Don't buy this." It is a high pressure campaign against the corporations. They are ANGRY the corporations and they are fighting it out on a daily basis on TV. The nutritionists in Mexico are promoting healthy traditional Mexican foods with a lot less fats, sugars, salts, and calories. They want a return to inexpensive native foods that have been consumed in Mexico for 10,00 years. The corporations from the USA want to keep the bad food on the shelves. It is interesting seeing it played out during the pandemic.
#15139900
Tainari88 wrote:They nag the mom or dad, "I want to go to McDonald's." You calmly tell the kid, "that stuff is poison. I am not buying that stuff for you." They cry, "But Joelito next door has a toy from the McDonald's happy meal. It is a cool toy. I want the toy and I like the hamburgers. Why are you being mean to me?"

As a vegetarian who has always hated McCrap, I nonetheless have taken my friend's kids to McDonalds about a hundred times when they were young. But only to buy ice cream because "everything else is poison."

That's how I survived the nagging intact.

By the way, marketing to kids creates what marketing people lovingly refer to as The Nag Factor.
#15139930
QatzelOk wrote:Perhaps, "the solution" to the heroin dealer's inability to get people to try and love their products... is to hire sophisticated marketing types who can market their "delicious, mouth-watering heroin" to children using child psychology?

Maybe the McNarcos could exploit a heroic sports figure to "shoot heroin in front of a child admirer" on a TV ad?

...

Here, I am emphasizing the way multinationals exploit all pop culture, and child psychology to sell products to people who wouldn't have otherwise bought them (thus, the need for marketing). But adults also have a psychology that can be exploited to get zombie-like consumption of "newly-loved poisons."

Child marketing using sports heroes also demonstrates how little love or respect capitalism has for children's lives or health. They would jam a syringe into your child's arm... if any government would "liberalize" this strategy for them (and for kickbacks).

Yes I agree with all of this. But what is the solution?

There seems like 2 main solutions: people waking up from their zombie-like states and realizing the crap they're putting in their bodies and their children's bodies, OR government regulation. I would think there's room for both. But it's a matter of how far the government should go to protect the population and balancing that with respecting that people have free will and should have some choice.

The shame is that in decades past people seemed not so aware of how bad these foods were, and were expoited just as the tobacco industry exploited people and hid info. But now people are more aware of health impacts. Yet like cigarettes some people still smoke despite gruesome warning labels on the packages. Do we ban cigarettes and Lucky Charms, or regulate the marketing, or just let people make their own decisions?
#15139992
Unthinking Majority wrote: Do we ban cigarettes and Lucky Charms, or regulate the marketing, or just let people make their own decisions?

Here's how cigarette companies "dealt with" the 1950s science that demonstrated that their products caused lung diseases and cancers:



Rather than placing Maradona into a McDonalds context, they used "a doctor" as their inspirational "expert."

You ask "what is the solution" as a way of demonstrating how little power the "capitalist consumer" has over his own mental environment. Sure, you're "free" to buy whatever you want, but the environment is saturated with billions of dollars in propaganda.

Why is this legal? Why are corporations STILL allowed to pyschologically manipulate masses of people into consumption of poisonous products?

Child advertising, by the way, is a combination of pedophilia and colonialism.
#15140057
QatzelOk wrote:You ask "what is the solution" as a way of demonstrating how little power the "capitalist consumer" has over his own mental environment. Sure, you're "free" to buy whatever you want, but the environment is saturated with billions of dollars in propaganda.

Why is this legal? Why are corporations STILL allowed to pyschologically manipulate masses of people into consumption of poisonous products?

Yes I'm honestly asking, what is the solution? You always describe a problem but never offer any solutions. Here at least you hint at regulation as a solution (why is this legal?).

Child advertising, by the way, is a combination of pedophilia and colonialism.

This is a ridiculous statement. If anything it could be a form of child abuse.
#15140121
QatzelOk wrote:Indeed, Mexicans drink more soda per capita than any other country in the world

Yes, you know why? Because much of Mexico is hot and dry.
There are also a lot of poor people peddling soda in public. And then there's the fact that Mexico borders the US, so that was one of the cultural/consumer exports that the US gave to Mexico.

Mexicans drink a lot of soda.


Thinking about it, it's probably a stress-reliever as well, sugary things, because many Mexicans are under a lot of stress with the country's chronic economic situation, are not sure how they will survive, and soda is cheap.

Poor white people in Appalachian region of the US have the same problem too.
#15140146
Puffer Fish wrote:Yes, you know why? Because much of Mexico is hot and dry.

Those regions have been hot and dry for thousands of years with no Coca Cola rotting people's teeth and giving them diabetes. So *Hot + Dry = Must Drink Coca Cola* doesn't explain. It apologizes for corporate influence. Mexico has many indigenous drinks that help with dehydration much better than colas do.

There are also a lot of poor people peddling soda in public. And then there's the fact that Mexico borders the US, so that was one of the cultural/consumer exports that the US gave to Mexico.

The USA is also a world center for "poor people peddling," another wonderful import.

Thinking about it, it's probably a stress-reliever as well, sugary things, because many Mexicans are under a lot of stress with the country's chronic economic situation, are not sure how they will survive, and soda is cheap.

I wonder if Coca Cola helps people solve their problems? Perhaps *Coca-Cola + Commercial Media* is the complete "remedy" that was imported from the USA.

Poor white people in Appalachian region of the US have the same problem too.

Should Mexico be imitating this? Seriously, does Mexico really want to be a big USA hicktown?
#15140180
QatzelOk wrote:Should Mexico be imitating this? Seriously, does Mexico really want to be a big USA hicktown?

Sad to say but that is kind of how Northern Mexico is.

Then the far South of Mexico is more indigenous peoples, so plenty of poverty and lack of development there too.

It's only a narrow belt around Mexico City where Mexico's prosperity and sophisticated culture is.
#15140265
Puffer Fish wrote:Sad to say but that is kind of how Northern Mexico is.

Then the far South of Mexico is more indigenous peoples, so plenty of poverty and lack of development there too.

It's only a narrow belt around Mexico City where Mexico's prosperity and sophisticated culture is.

Do you think that it is possilbe for people living in Northern Mexico to stop watching American media, and try to get back to a traditional diet and lifestyle, or do you think that lifestyle is dead now, and Mexicans can only look forward to more chemical food, TV watching and decay?

Is there hope that education or a change in government style could reform Mexico in ways that would bring back some kind of local and healthy diet?

Wouldn't people have to stop watching commercial media for any positive change to happen?

Here is some more whoring of a legend to sell unhealthy, sport-killing products:

About the legend that is Maradona, Peter Mayo wrote:...he burst onto the international stage in Tunisia in the 1979 Coca-Cola World Youth Championship which Argentina won...

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"This championship has been brought to you by Coca Cola refreshments..."

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