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Food Manufacturers Profit From Obesity And Diet-Obsessed Market

August 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Some of the world’s leading food companies are making money from obesity by buying into the diet industry. For example, Weight Watchers, which was founded by Jean Nidetch in the early 1960s, was acquired by Heinz in 1978, which then sold the company to investment firm Artal for $735 million in 1999. Also, Slimfast, a liquid meal replacement invented by chemist and entrepreneur Danny Abraham was bought by Unilever in 2000, while the diet company Jenny Craig was bought by Nestlé, the world’s most profitable company in 2011, according to Fortune magazine’s Global 500 list. These multinational food giants, which have played a significant role in the global obesity epidemic, are now selling weight-loss and diet food products aimed at perpetuating a revenue-generating, obesity-driven, vicious circle.
Jacques Peretti , "Fat profits: how the food industry cashed in on obesity", The Guardian, August 07, 2013, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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