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Businesses Science Deals With Community Backlash Over PepsiCo Column 299

History's Coming To writes "Several writers for the collective have publicly resigned from the site, and many more have voiced concerns over parent company Seed's decision to include a paid blog under the nutrition category from PepsiCo. The blog was to be written by PepsiCo food scientists, detailing their work. The UK's Guardian newspaper has picked up on the story, and includes a letter from Seed editor Adam Bly which covers the company's rationale." The ScienceBlogs Team later canceled the PepsiCo blog and apologized, instead leaving their users with a few tough questions: "How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? ... How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?"
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  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <> on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:29AM (#32859712) Homepage

    "How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? ... How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?"

    Translation: "Damn, how do we get away with this next time? Do you know how much money Pepsi was giving us for selling out your reputations? This 'wall between editorial and advertising' concept is so outmoded and pre-Web 2.0, you know."

  • how to do it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:31AM (#32859724)
    PepsiCo food scientists are more than welcome to conduct research, and they're more than welcome to detail their findings in papers. However, to be taken seriously, those papers should be submitted to peer-reviewed journals and published via standard procedures. Under no circumstances should they pay blogs to include those postings/papers if they want to be appear impartial.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:31AM (#32859726)

    Everything was fully disclosed and on the up and up. Are Pepsi scientists to be shunned just because they work for Pepsi? What am I missing here?

  • Asinine (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spazntwich ( 208070 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:34AM (#32859736)

    While these are important questions, it should be obvious from their past behavior that PepsiCo as an organization is not interested in any layman's definition of "nutrition."

    High fructose corn syrup in EVERYTHING, food products that boil down to simple carbs, trans fats and salt, and beverages that are little more than sugar water with some caramel coloring. This is a company designed to maximize profit by exploiting the still-ingrained hunter-gatherer instincts in us all, and what of the externalities associated with a lifestyle of chugging soft drinks and pounding Cheetos and Fritos? Fuck it.

    These guys deserve greater scrutiny than the tobacco companies, and to wail about their trials and tribulations attempting to engage a public that is becoming more health conscious after foisting products upon them that encourage obesity, high blood pressure, and compulsive consumption is the highest form of absurdity.

  • Re:Translation (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:38AM (#32859752)

    Indeed. As to the question itself, assuming for a moment we take it at face value: this looks like an opportunity for legitimate use of the oodles of money that mega-corps such as this one pay for PR and marketing. And by legitimate, I mean credible. I mean doing it under your own colours with your own money and building up your own credibility instead of buying someone else's.

  • Re:how to do it (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:42AM (#32859774)

    Maybe the Pepsi scientists wanted to. But they would have had zero choice in the matter. If you tried to explain this peer-review process to an executive, you would be met with disbelief. Money is the solution to everything, after all.

  • Easy Answer (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ralish ( 775196 ) <<ten.moixen> <ta> <lds>> on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:42AM (#32859778) Homepage

    "How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? ... How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?"

    The answer is:
    Said "top scientists working in industry" are welcome to do all of the above, and should be encouraged to do so in fact, but the determining factor of whether their work is published should be one purely of merit; not payment for publicity or any other form of bribe that results in direct gain to the publisher.

  • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spirality ( 188417 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:43AM (#32859788) Homepage

    Why aren't government scientists treated with as much skepticism as corporate scientists?

  • by improfane ( 855034 ) * on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:55AM (#32859826) Journal

    What if I am NOT influenced by adverts, do not click them and avoid the products mentioned within them?

    Surely they lose nothing if I just block silently, it would never have influenced me anyway. How common is paying by impression?

  • Re:Asinine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TouchAndGo ( 1799300 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:58AM (#32859848)

    I'm very sorry that a can of Pepsi killed your mother and molested your dog, but don't you think that perhaps this much anger directed toward a company that produces junk food is a little unwarranted?

    They provide something that people want, then you rage at THEM for that? If no one was buying their product then they wouldn't be in business, so how about directing a little bit of that ranting in the direction of the general public that supports them, because last time I checked no one is marching into people's homes and forcing cola down people's throats.

    Foisting it upon them? Please

  • Re:Translation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Saturday July 10, 2010 @09:59AM (#32859854) Homepage Journal

    There's little incentive for government scientists studying nutrition, for instance, to come up with findings that indicate that a certain product is "nutritious" when it may not be.

    Is that why the FDA produced a "food pyramid" which bases the diet on carbohydrates which we know and for centuries have known will cause heart disease and obesity in cases of overconsumption? And why the new revision of it is still overly carb-heavy, though they did reduce the percentage of carb content they recommend for their diet? Is it just simple coincidence that the original food pyramid came out about the same time as the plethora of processed foods hit the shelves? Is it a simple coincidence that Monsanto is one of the biggest government lobbyists, and that the FDA requires any dairy product which states that it does not use rBGH to carry a notice that the FDA has detected no difference between milk from cows with and without rBGH, which is an outright lie?

  • Re:how to do it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:03AM (#32859874)

    I'd say there's nothing wrong with paid-for blog instead of the usual publishing route... because the peer review should still take place.

    I can say whatever bo**ocks I want on /. and someone will tell me I'm wrong - fine. I can put up my own blog and say the same bull with comments disabled, that's fine. But I could pay /. to post my comments, and all's good - if people can still say I'm wrong.

    (cue the 'wits' replying with the obvious now :)

    So the paid-for aspect only becomes a problem if there's some coercion that cntrary arguments are withheld in some way, and I suppose there's always the case that the publication will censor in order to keep the money flowing in, but the peer community will quickly recognise that and will boycott it making the whole point of the initial exercise futile.

    Or the pepsico scientists could contribute exactly what they were going to, but without the financial backing of Pepsico. I'm sure Pepsico just wants the advertising and marketing of saying these clever scientists work for them.

  • What if I am NOT influenced by adverts, do not click them and avoid the products mentioned within them?

    You are influenced by adverts whether you know it or not. Now, your conscious influence may be stronger than the unconscious; I am fairly adept at detecting the manipulation attempted by advertisement, and it makes me angry. But that doesn't make you immune to the techniques used. It only means that they must be employed more subtly to work on you.

  • by MacDork ( 560499 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:05AM (#32859886) Journal

    What am I missing here?

    It's a blog posting and not a paper in a peer reviewed journal. And considering how the internet works, many folks would pick up on that blog post and cite it as fact.

    It would be equivalent to a cigarette company scientist posting things on a blog about the health effects of smoking.

    So it's like Wikipedia. I don't see the problem. You talk as if you are trying to protect stupid people from themselves. I'd prefer if we let people read all sources, determine the veracity of those sources themselves, and make up their own damn mind about things. You know, freedom of speech, press, religion...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:08AM (#32859894)
    I think the big issue here is that PepsiCo was paying ScienceBlogs to run the column, instead of the editors of ScienceBlogs choosing to run the column on their own on the basis of its scientific merits.
  • Re:how to do it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cyp43r ( 945301 ) <> on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:08AM (#32859896)
    Equating paying for an entry and being able to comment on it is just not on. A lot of people don't read the comments and the comments are not given nearly the same weight. The Pepsi scientists are given equal weighting with all the other things they're reporting despite clear motivations for fraud.
  • Re:Asinine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zironic ( 1112127 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:12AM (#32859918)

    I don't think the HFCS issue you americans suffer from is Pepsi's fault, in other continents they use different sources of sugar, it's just that your government has decided to make corn so cheap that using other sources of sweetness becomes financially unsound, if consumers were actually willing to pay more for non HFCS soft drinks I'm sure you'd see them on the market as the soft drink companies have no inherent interest in serving you bad sugar, they just want to sell soft drinks.

  • by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:14AM (#32859938)

    Surely the fact that you actively avoid the products mentioned within the advertisements means that you are influenced by them?

  • Re:Asinine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spazntwich ( 208070 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:21AM (#32859968)

    Ah, you're one of those "free will" types who believes people are rational actors. Quaint.

    While each person certainly bears personal responsibility for his actions, psychology hasn't given us the notion of the enabler for kicks. Social responsibility starts at the top.

    I also take issue with your claims that people "want" corn so processed it retains zero nutritional value, fats so perverted the body can barely process them, and sugar that is heavily biased towards being stored as fat rather than burned that then creates a depressed insulin response and the near-instant desire for more. Their "food" is the equivalent to crack, heavily engineered to maximize appeal and shelf-life at the expense of its resemblance to genuine nutrition. Nobody benefited from the switch away from sucrose and unprocessed oils except their executives.

    Also, while my wording is strong, your speculation on my emotional state says more about yours. What's got you defending the purveyors of food that have had a heavy hand in the worldwide increase in obesity, diabetes, and all sorts of other fun chronic conditions that we all pay for in the end?

    I am not angry that they sell what they do. I am irritated that they sell what they do and pretend there's any nutritional value to it, and I am bitterly amused by you folks with no appreciation for the malleability of the average consumer's mind.

  • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:23AM (#32859970)
    In theory, the government does not have the same profit motive as big corporations, and therefore should have less incentive to produce specific results. In practice, though, "The business of the United States is business."
  • Mucha ado... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:23AM (#32859974)

    If they are open about the source of the material and that it is paid I really don't see anything wrong with it. Readers will be aware that the blog is coming from a specific viewpoint and source; and can decide how much credibility they have and what biases may exist. To me, it's better than the blogger who may have an unrevealed conflict of interest or bias yet presents their viewpoint as factual and unbiased.

    The broader issue is, as pointed out, how do you engage with the broader public? Scientific papers are nice but most people never know they exist, let alone read them. An open forum allows a level of interaction and skeptical inquiry that rarely exists today; cutting that off is not very useful. Of course, the cynic in me thinks there are people, on both sides, who don't desire such rational discussion since it may go against long held positions and point out fallacies in those positions. Silencing a messenger is teh easist way to prevent the message from being delivered.

  • Re:Translation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:30AM (#32860012)

    Why aren't government scientists treated with as much skepticism as corporate scientists?

    Man, it must be so nice to live in a world like yours, where the greed and corruption of corporate influence is completely invisible. You know, that world built on the bullshit meme about how "government scientists" have some agenda other than science. You know, all those snooty "intellectual elite" government scientists taking tax-payer money to come up with "theories" that debunk the "scientific" advances produced by hard-working American business scientists.

    That said, if the Pepsico "scientists" have anything to add to the exchange of information and ideas at ScienceBlogs, they should be welcome there. But if their aim was to use that platform as another tool to advance their corporate agenda, as was quite clearly the case, then they and the idiots who allowed it deserve all the ridicule and rejection that can be heaped upon them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:36AM (#32860036)

    Then get on there, with some facts and figures, and change it. I am So Very Tired of people claiming science has political leanings. Science isn't left or right, science IS. If you can't prove that they are wrong, or show logical steps that they are missing in their conclusion, then they are right and you are wrong, until you can prove otherwise. It's okay to be wrong sometimes.

  • "dialogue" (Ha!) (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Type44Q ( 1233630 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:45AM (#32860090)
    " 'How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?' " Companies do not "seek" anything; the people who run them seek something... but it surely isn't dialogue. Any appearance to the contrary is just that, an appearance.
  • Re:Asinine (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:49AM (#32860118)

    And yet you still refuse to elucidate exactly what claims Pepsico is actually making. Are their nutrition facts labels wrong? If so, where's your evidence and why isn't this the FDA's problem?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:52AM (#32860148)
    The complete opposite influence they want me to have maybe?

    I don't understand your comment.

    Even if it's the opposite effect of what they would like you to do, it's still an influence. So you saying that you are "not influenced" is 100% wrong. It's just not the type of influence the advertisers would like to have on you. This really isn't that hard to understand.
  • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChromeAeonium ( 1026952 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @10:56AM (#32860170)

    Is that why the FDA produced a "food pyramid" which bases the diet on carbohydrates which we know and for centuries have known will cause heart disease and obesity in cases of overconsumption?

    Which for centuries were also what built civilizations before our age of abundance. Societies around the globe were built on carbs, whether wheat, or rice, or maize, or sorghum, or potatoes, or cassava, or ensete, or amaranth, or quinoa, or sago, or breadfruit, or plantain, or teff, or millet, or whatever. High carb foods are what sustained humanity throughout most of its existence. This is because we've known for centuries that those foods provide the large amounts of energy that the body needs to keep going, and in the case of the food pyramid, it is assumed that you're using that energy. You can't retcon a conspiracy because lifestyles changed.

    that the FDA requires any dairy product which states that it does not use rBGH to carry a notice that the FDA has detected no difference between milk from cows with and without rBGH

    There's an xkcd [] for everything.

    which is an outright lie?

    Got a strong source for that? And no, sites like this [] are not valid citations.

  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @11:05AM (#32860200) Homepage Journal

    What if I am NOT influenced by adverts,

    Then you should immediately report to the nearest psychology lab and make a living being examined for this highly unusual trait.

    Advertisement today contains more science than Spirit and Opportunity. It practically is a science of its own - the science of manipulating masses, often unconsciously, and especially in such a way that they are either unaware of it or in complete denial.

    Ockhams Razor says you are not immune, you are in denial.

  • I can't even find the PepsiCo blog to read it to see what was so terrible about it, and everything I read just says "IT WAS FROM AN EVIL CORPORATION" which doesn't say shit about the content or the quality of its science.

    High quality science can come out of corporate labs, but only when it is in the interests of the company. There is little doubt that PepsiCo scientists are well aware of the health effects of their companies products, but there isn't a snowball's chance in a sauna that such information will ever be released on their blog. In the meantime, the carefully controlled flow of information putting the company and its products in a positive light gains credence and respectability by being on a credible site such a Scienceblogs, and all the while every other blog on the site loses credence by having this propaganda held up next to their content.

    This has been dubbed corporate propaganda, and it's a succinct and insightful description. The entity known as PepsiCo may have been granted the human freedom of speech to engage in this sort of thing, but that doesn't mean other people have to associate themselves with it.

  • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Parafilmus ( 107866 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @11:07AM (#32860212) Homepage

    Is that why the FDA produced a "food pyramid" which bases the diet on carbohydrates...?

    The "Food Pyramid" is not published by the FDA. It's published by the USDA, whose mission is to promote American agriculture. Their pyramid is basically an ad campaign masquerading as a public service.

  • by jonnat ( 1168035 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @11:09AM (#32860224)

    How do we empower top scientists working in industry to lead science-minded positive change within their organizations? ... How do companies who seek genuine dialogue with this community engage?

    It's rather simple: open your blog network to scientists who work in industry, which you already do.

    It's rather dishonest to claim that the backlash from your sell-out of the site has the effect of preventing industry scientists to engage in "genuine dialogue" with the broad scientific community. If anything prevents this engagement, it's the draconian IP protection rules companies impose to their R&D staff. If a company is genuinely interested in a dialogue and not disguised propaganda, they can simply allow their researchers to have blogs in which they can discuss their work or issues they encounter in their environment.

  • Re:Translation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe ( 412765 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @11:26AM (#32860292) Homepage

    Stick it to the man bro ! Down with capitalist pig science and invention ! Let the state do it !

    Say, who turned out the lights [] ? Hmmm, the phone's not working [] ... where's my cell phone ? [].

    Frankly even the more "abstract" science largely 0comes from 1 of 2 sources : "scientists" who were really businessmen first and scientist second (or third, or fourth, in most cases), and the church. Massive government sponsorship for science is mostly less than a century old (and already they have a monopoly).

    That's why it'd be a good idea for both private individuals and companies to be involved in science. Of course, you'd have to check something before you start believing it. Somehow we think that no checks are necessare when the state ("university"/"national center for X"/...) comes with science ? That's my second point. Yes individuals lie, and they lie a lot. Companies lie, and they lie a lot. But why does the state get a free pass from everyone here ? Government scientists lie too.

    In actuality the best option, imho, would be to continue as science used to work : that everyone believes whatever they like to believe, and no-one gets shielded from the real world. Of course given our "tolerant" attitudes on things ranging from Darwinism to (A)GW, half of slashdot would break out the pitchforks before they let this happen. And of course, getting it spoon-fed from the government (only the "approved" discoveries, of course) is much easier. No-one really needs to know what history tells us about just how many gene lines survive in a natural selection environment, and how many die out (for every species alive today, there's at least a million species that died out, and probably more than that)

    Scientists used to worship dissent, even stupid dissent.
    Now it just worships government money.

    "It's even worse than we thought", "jewish flesh is toxic to look at" [] (whoops, wrong state sponsoring)

  • Re:Translation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spirality ( 188417 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @11:32AM (#32860308) Homepage

    Who said I was not skeptical of the corporate scientists? Clearly they can not be always be trusted.

    I was just pointing out how corporate scientists always get a bad rap and how government scientists tend to get a free pass.

    But in fact government scientists have an interest in promoting ideas that free up more funds for their research. Also, as government employees/contractors, they have an interest in pleasing the source of their monies.

    Basically it comes down to this. When a government scientist reaches conclusions that call for more government you should view such conclusions with some skepticism because of the inherent conflict of interest that exists.

    Just like when Phillip Morris's research department says smoking is actually good for you.

    Just like when businesses promote legislation that benefits them.

    You must always ask "cui bono"?

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Saturday July 10, 2010 @11:34AM (#32860318) Journal

    The complete opposite influence they want me to have maybe?

    I guarantee that you have not been able to ignore advertising or cause it to have the opposite influence. You're fooling yourself.

    What kind of computer do you use? What kind of portable media player? I guarantee that you chose them because of advertising. You know which components to buy when you build a computer because of advertising. You know which cereal to buy because of advertising.

    Even if you buy the cheap store-brand of corn flakes, it's because the store-brand is piggy-backing off the effect that Kellogs' advertising had on you or you wouldn't even know to buy corn flakes.

    I bet you know the names of Apple's laptop computers. I bet you know the names of the individual programs in Adobe's Creative Suite. I bet you can tell me the names of car models made by the biggest car companies. All because of advertising.

    There's a long game in advertising too. Even if you aren't directly influenced to run out and buy a product, you learn the names, you learn the qualities that made one brand better than another. Eventually you will make a decision, and though you think you're making the decision based only upon your own independent thinking, the marketing plays a bigger role than you think.

  • Re:Asinine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @11:57AM (#32860416)

    Years ago, I was amused and horrified when I went to a talk by Carl Schank. He was saying that people don't think when they converse. Instead, they just listen for key words and index those to stories they can reply with, such that a conversation is just one story after another, related only by key words, not key ideas.

    One of the people listening to the talk said "Well, but right now, I'm asking you a question about your comment. How does that fit? it seems like I'm thinking about what you say, and reacting to the ideas, rather than simply repeating a story."

    Schank waves his hands and says, approximately, "No, no, no. I'm not talking about us, here. I'm talking about Them. You know, normal people."

    So much for that theory. Only not. Because the theory and the study actually still holds, to some extent. It holds with dumb people most of the time, and smart people some of the time. We can all be rational actors when we want to exert that effort. The problem is that it's an effort.

    For some people it's really, really hard, and for other's it's not so hard. We need to teach people to do it more, and we need to understand that they don't do it a lot of the time and react/legislate accordingly. You cannot argue that people are 100% rational actors and thus we should get the hell out of their way, and you cannot argue that people are lemmings, and we need to make a safe cage for them. To do either is a rhetorical trick to prevent action.

  • Re:Translation (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bkeahl ( 1688280 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @12:18PM (#32860544)
    So, any scientist working on anything which produces something the rest of us are willing to pay money for is to be silenced? Whatever the researchers posted would be open to review by other participants and could be commented upon. An actual dialog would do both sides some good, as they could both gain a better understanding of an alternative view and possibly incorporate that into future product development (or dispel myths and other false information). But heck yeah, lets jump up and down and force anyone we might not agree with into the closet so nobody could ever hear what they have to say. It's becoming the American way.
  • by synthesizerpatel ( 1210598 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @12:23PM (#32860564)

    Unless every writer on the site does it for free with absolutely no compensation for their effort -- then they too are advertising -- 'themselves'.

    Granted the pepsiblog would probably have been terrible, but it's just another form of advertising.. But before you get all high and mighty, consider National Geographic, which regularly has _TERRIBLE_ borderline scam advertisements (Amish fake-fireplace, $2 bills for $10 + 5/s&h..) they still have great content that is basically subsidized by the worst elements of marketing.

    It's easy to get all pissed off at someone for wanting to cash in a little bit, but if it means the difference between them providing a service, or providing no service.. there's not a lot of ways it can go unless they start charging YOU for reading their content.

  • by Viperpete ( 1261530 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @01:00PM (#32860788) Homepage

    While I feel that the greater number of people are affected by advertising/brand recognition influencing their purchasing. I take exception to your statement that it is not possible to personally avoid it.

    Stop spending money on crap!

    When it comes to equipment, I chose mine based on what I could get for free from people who did not want them anymore. I may not have the best or newest equipment, but I have a lot of it and if anything craps out I replace it from the pile.

    When it comes to consumables like food, I purchase whatever non-processed lowest priced locally grown stuff I can find, the only time I care about the name on the label is when I do not like it, so as not to purchase it again. When it comes to something that you cannot find that is not branded, beer for example, I try many different types and settle for the one I enjoy the most for the best price.

    I do "recognize" brands, but, I could care less if I'm using my HP flatscreen monitor or the Dell or Acer I have in the basement, I just chose the largest one.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @01:15PM (#32860838) Homepage Journal

    I'm quite certain that you are right about the subconscious influence. It's like I can hear little wheels whirring away, when I am forced to look at an advert. The company and/or the product is categorized and filed under "NEVER BUY FROM THESE ASSHOLES!" Weeks of months later, when I realize that I need some doo-dad, I shop around, and actually search for whatever it is. When I see the name, or trademark, or whatever, I rank that product down about ten notches.

    And, it's not that hard to do, if you're not shopping for "bling". Those companies that spend the most on adverts tend to oversell the bling anyway, and undersell whatever merits the product might have - if any.

  • Re:Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ukyoCE ( 106879 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @02:42PM (#32861264) Journal

    This. Carbohydrates are not bad. The obesity epidemic of the past decade or two clearly has nothing to do with carbohydrates (alone).

    Low-fiber foods that don't make you feel full? Sure.

    Overly-refined foods packed with excessive sugar? Sure.

    Beverages (including milk, but namely soda and "diet" soda) with as many calories as a meal? Sure.

    Every time I see someone claim carboyhydrates are bad for you I put my face in my palm and shake my head slowly.

  • Re:Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ChromeAeonium ( 1026952 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @03:18PM (#32861442)

    Yeah, I don't get the bad rap carb foods seem to be getting. I'm not a nutritionist, but it is my understanding that the deal with carbs is just that they are high in energy, and if you're burning a lot of energy, no problem. But today, we're not using all that energy, but we still want our carbs, and our fats, and our sugars, and in large quantities. We want our big greasy burger, and that pile of fries, and a nice cold soda to wash it down. And then the laws of physics rear their their ugly head. All those excess kcals have to go somewhere, and the body still thinks a lion could chase us away from our food supply at any second, so it won't poop them out, and they end up around our middles, and with that comes the problems associated with obesity. If you look at China, they've been eating large amounts of carb filled rice for so long, but only now, with the increased demand for the fats and oils and sugars to go with their rice do we see obesity really rising. The way I see it, there's nothing wrong with what carbs do, all they do is provide higher quantities of energy, just so long as you match your energy in with your energy out.

  • by metrix007 ( 200091 ) on Saturday July 10, 2010 @04:54PM (#32861858)

    Oh, Hogwash

    If you have even the least amount of will, or the least ability to think critically, then you won't be magically subjected to advertising without your knowledge.

    It isn't science, it is still just psychology. And like Psychology, what is true for masses does not have to be true for any individual.

    The reason advertising works is because people are dumb, not because of advanced clandestine techniques.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin