Sugar and Marketing

Since I'm so interested in candy's science and history, I both enjoyed and was horrified by the book Sugar: The World Corrupted by James Walvin.

I learned that the European desire for sugar fueled the creation of plantations and slavery in the Americas. After slavery 'officially' ended in America after the Civil War, the sugar industry continued to use workers in conditions resembling slavery. These included indentured Indian laborers in British colonies; indentured Chinese and Japanese workers in the Carribean and South America, and poorly paid migrant workers in Florida.

Now our dependence on sugar has caused obesity rates to skyrocket. We're the targets and victims of marketing campaigns whose scope we can hardly imagine.

Amount of money spent on advertising to the young:
  • $792 million on breakfast cereals
  • $549 million on soft drinks
  • $330 million on snacks

"Only the automobile industry spent more money on advertising than the US food industry--understandably, perhaps, when we realise that 12.5 percent of all American consumer spending goes on food."

Sugar: The World Corrupted: From Slavery to Obesity by James Walvin, 2018

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