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UK Turns to McDonald's, Pepsi, to Help Write Health Policy

McDonald's: your healthcare specialist

Pleasure PalateMcDonald's: your healthcare specialist

And you thought our healthcare system was screwed up? The Guardian's Felicity Lawrence reported last week that the United Kingdom is getting a little assistance with their newest healthcare policy -- by bringing in McDonald's, PepsiCo, and Kellog's to help them write it. Wait, what?

Lawrence writes that those companies, along with Unilever, Mars, and Diageo, are, "at the heart of writing government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease." At the surface, this sounds a little absurd. But when Marion Nestle (Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at NYU) decided to dig a little deeper for an article over at the Atlantic, she found that it is, in fact, still pretty absurd.

Wrote Nestle:

I had a good laugh when Dick Jackson, who chairs the Environmental Health Sciences department at UCLA's School of Public Health, forwarded this article: "McDonald's and PepsiCo to help write UK health policy."

I assumed this was another priceless piece from The Onion, whose recent article on the effects of the U.S. Farm Bill on soybean production is equally hilarious.

But no such luck.

Now if you'll excuse us, we have to go read a piece about improving environmental awareness, written by BP.