For more than thirty years, Hank Cardello was an executive and adviser to some of the largest food and beverage corporations in the world. For more than thirty years, he watched as corporate profits-and America's waistlines-ballooned: fattening consumers meant fattening profits. Now, in this fascinating and timely book, Cardello offers a behind-the-scenes look at the business of food, providing an insider's account of food company practices, failed government regulations, and misleading media coverage that have combined to place us in the middle of a national obesity epidemic. With insights culled from Cardello's time in the food industry, Stuffed explores how food companies have spent the last fifty years largely ignoring healthier fare in the name of their bottom lines while pushing consumers toward "convenience" food and supersize portions without considering the health consequences. From grocery aisles to restaurant booths to boardrooms, Cardello reveals the hidden forces that have long shaped your supermarket purchases and menu selections.
He examines the black-and-white mind-set that has produced the carefully targeted marketing strategies that have maximized profits for the food industry and led to weight gain for you. But Cardello makes clear that the food companies should not take all the blame. They are merely a cog in a larger system that's broken, and here Cardello illustrates how the government and the media have only made it harder for Americans to make nutritious choices. Highlighting both bit players and high-profile voices of change, Cardello explains the fundamental risks to one-size-fits-all regulatory solutions and the bigger dangers posed by letting the food pundits confuse the health conversation. More than simply a chronicle of how we got here, Stuffed also puts forth a groundbreaking blueprint for the future of the food industry. In debunking the common myth that "healthier" has to mean higher costs and unpalatable tastes, Cardello provides novel but concrete steps that food companies can take to fatten their profits and slim down their customers.
In addition, he stresses the realistic role that consumers must play in America's new health equation, explaining that unless they demand healthier food with their wallets, America will continue to tip the scales for years to come.
Hank Cardello is chief executive officer of 27 North (www.27degNorth.com), a consulting firm that helps businesses take the lead on solving social issues. For more than three decades he was an executive at some of the world's largest food and beverage companies, including Coca-Cola and General Mills. Today he chairs the annual Global Obesity Business Forum, sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Cardello lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Doug Garr is the author of IBM Redux: Lou Gerstner and the Business Turnaround of the Decade. His work has appeared in BusinessWeek, Fortune's Technology Review, GQ, Popular Science, Worth, New York, and MIT's Technology Review. Garr lives in New York.