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112 R Uauy

The gift and the wrappings were too good to pass; I am years we want to have most of our product line meet the
sure that we can all understand the dilemma Derek must international standards supporting life-long healthy if he
have faced. fails we fail’. I am convinced that she meant what she said;
With this background we can have an opinion and say and in my role as President of the IUNS I agree with Derek
‘Yes, at the end of the day, the power of money is greater when he states ‘The future will judge whether the com-
than that of values and mission’; cynics will say this is just mitments and promises made by the public and private
the essence of human nature. Alternatively we can sectors have been fulfilled. No sector has the monopoly of
believe Derek in his strong statement: ‘The time has come what works best and what is in the public interest’.
to apply knowledge of what works besty focused on My final comment relates to the need for the interna-
achieving practical outcomes for obesity and related tional academic nutrition community to join the public
health concerns’; or his ‘I have always sought to work and private sector, non-government organizations, donors
where the potential for health gain is great’; and his final and all others interested in improving nutrition to re-
‘I am finding equally committed colleagues in the cor- examine the present global governance structure and
porate sector who share the public health community’s introduce the necessary changes to ensure greater
desire to make a difference to the lives of their con- accountability and participation of civil society and the
sumers. Let us work together to make that difference’. private sector alike. Linkages and partnerships need to be
My position is that Derek is genuine in his motives and significantly enhanced, so that priorities are better reflec-
he has chosen this job as a new challenge and opportu- ted in national and international normative guidance,
nity to influence the private sector from within. It takes programme implementation, donor funding, research, and
someone like Derek to take on this daunting task, and I advanced training. The pending work ahead demands an
propose that we not only give him the benefit of the inclusive approach with clearly defined objectives and
doubt, but clearly support his efforts and do our best for established monitoring and evaluation systems holding
him to be effective. When I visited him last April in his parties accountable for what they do or fail to do.
office after a stroll in the garden and taking a picture of
him by an original Picasso sculpture of Don Quijote Prof. Ricardo Uauy
and Sancho, I asked his boss Indra Nooyi, the CEO of IUNS President
PepsiCo, ‘Why have you taken our standard bearer in the INTA U of Chile
fight against chronic diseases? Some say he has now Casilla 138-11
joined the enemy’. Her reply was instant and to the point: Santiago Chile
‘We have asked Derek to change this company; in five Email:

Public Health Nutrition: 11(2), 112–113 DOI: 10.1017/S1368980007001632

Invited Commentary to Yach editorial
PepsiCo recruitment strategy challenged

As the former chair of the WHO Reference Group which working from the outside. While it is clear in the public
advised on the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity health and nutrition field that we must be willing to engage
and Health, it was disappointing to learn that Derek in a dialogue, it remains quite difficult to achieve real
Yach, who originally spearheaded this WHO initiative, influence over the private sector, whose agenda has so far
had accepted a post at PepsiCo. It was even more dis- been one of setting its own limits. My view remains that
appointing to find that the former Director-General of ultimately one can achieve a greater impact on important
WHO, Gro Harlem Brundtland, who championed the public health issues as an independent actor, rather than as
WHO Strategy to Health Ministers in spite of food and soft a company employee, particularly if employed in a busi-
drink industry opposition, had already been recruited ness which has been and, to some extent, continues to be
very quietly to the PepsiCo Blue Ribbon Advisory Board. ‘part of the problem’ on a global scale.
Yach and Brundtland presumably believe they can We have to be pragmatic, but the challenge to anyone
achieve more in terms of improving public health by moving from working in public health to working ‘inside the
working within a single company than can be achieved by system’ is that they should know they will be held

Norway and beverages to children – something now happening Email: krnorum@gmail. Kaare R. perhaps the over.Invited commentary 113 accountable in demonstrating they are truly ‘part of the worldwide. Norum One of the most important issues. Here is my ‘Pepsi Challenge’. has said it will market many Big Food companies which seem to think that enga. University of . but by of its lines with its Smart Spot logo. improving diet and tackling obesity. Department of Nutrition riding one. Recent industry pledges to curtail advertising solution’. concerns the aggressive marketing of snacks Medical Faculty. The acquisition of notable health experts and to children under 12 years old disguises the fact that political advisors provides a ‘halo effect’ – or perhaps less intense marketing efforts continue across the snack and charitably a smokescreen – behind which to hide. but still undeserving of the self-serving health logos that have proliferated as an easy sales booster. Will Pepsi be the first to: mine greater efforts to bring about real change. In my view it is the culture of snacking – regulated option)? the consumption of superfluous calories between. since children of less than 18 years of age? branding snacks as ‘healthy’ only diverts attention from > Accept this as a binding agreement (not merely a self- the real issues. Professor Emeritus. In fact. only two products to the under 12s – Baked Cheetos and ging a few advisers to give their blessing to some modified Gatorade sugared drinks – from next year. This soft drink sector. Only the other week a senior > Produce only non-sugary breakfast cereals? brand marketing adviser told an audience at the McGill Health Challenge Think Tank in Montreal that the food Are they ready for a world without their very sweet industry could not deliver ‘healthy’ snacks – only ‘heal. > Support an international code of conduct concerning I am concerned in particular that there is a basic con- the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to flict in working within the snack food sector. I challenge products offers a solution in responding to the challenge of them to go further. or > Halt all marketing and sales of snacks and sugary drinks perhaps instead of healthy main meals – which is an in schools and in the surrounding neighborhoods? unhealthy practice in itself. it may under. ‘Honey Monster’? thier’. He meant the products were not quite as bad as before. which has branded at least 250 strategy has been adopted not only by PepsiCo. PepsiCo.