A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. Weak-willed dieters are warned about short-termism. Increasingly, the food industry is too. On Monday, an international panel blamed profit maximisation for destroying the health of people and the planet. It called on governments to unite against Big Food in the way they once took on Big Tobacco. The panel, convened by The Lancet, fulminated against lobbying and the funding of biased research. It is a familiar theme. Another medical journal, the BMJ, recently accused Coca-Cola of influencing Chinese health policies as it tried to secure sales to offset shrinking western markets. “Deeply irresponsible” was the industry’s riposte to the Lancet study. Food and drink are essential to sustain life while even the smallest dose of tobacco is harmful to health, it said. There are other differences too. The tobacco industry is on the hook for payouts running into hundreds of billions of dollars. Litigation against the food industry is blocked by ...

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