Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi stupid, misinformed, deluded, ignorant or evil?

You pick, but it seems to me it's got to be one of those five choices.


Because just two days ago Indra told reporters from Fortune magazine,

"If all consumers exercised, did what they had to do, the problem of obesity wouldn't exist."
Forget about the fact that doubly-labeled water experiments suggests activity levels haven't actually changed much over the course of the past 3 decades. Forget about all those studies that state we're eating on average an extra meal worth of calories a day since the 70s. Forget about the fact that portion sizes have grown astronomically and that you can't pump gas, go to the gym, visit a hospital or walk down the street without an unending, easily accessibly supply of calories and junk food.

It's exercise stupid. Why can't we just exercise.

I bet that the hundreds of millions of overweight folks out there haven't ever tried to exercise to lose weight - because clearly if they did, they'd be skinny by now and drinking all the Pepsi they want, right Indra?

Never mind the studies that report that regardless of the amount of exercise overweight women do, in the absence of dietary change they just keep gaining weight. Never mind the fact that obesity rates in toddlers have risen dramatically - clearly they're just not hitting the gym hard enough, lord knows I have a tough time getting my 3 year old to do her squats and bench presses.

The thing is, someone like Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi isn't likely to be stupid or ignorant - you don't get to be the CEO of a massive corporation by being stupid or ignorant. She's also unlikely to be delusional and given her stature, it'd be someone's head if she were misinformed.

So she's likely not stupid, misinformed, deluded or ignorant (though I suppose anything's possible).

And while I can't state for certain she's evil, as far as I'm concerned willfully, knowingly, and deliberately trying to deflect any modicum of Big Food corporate blame for obesity by shifting the entirety of the blame to individuals, is.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Yoni,

    I think her "escape clause" is this: "did what they had to do". I interpret that to mean don't eat junk food, pass by fast food joints, and of course, do not drink your calories.

    Your post reminds me that Steve Jobs said this to John Sculley - when recruiting him to leave PepsiCo to become the CEO of Apple: "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?"

    Ken Leebow

  2. Steven H10:27 am

    Never underestimate a person's ability, no matter how intelligent they are, to delude themselves. Micheal Shermer often states intelligent people are often best at it - they are better at rationalizing why they believe 'weird' things. Oh, and:

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."
    --Upton Sinclair

  3. Hear Hear Yoni! And three cheers for bloggers like you who continue to speak freely and fight the superpowers through your own power of the "pen"!

  4. Anonymous1:51 pm


    i think ken hit it right on the head with what he said, did what they have to do, this most likely refers to healthy eating, pepsi co isn't just soft drinks, it also has a large food side of the company including Quaker. If you read her speech ill leave the link below you will get to know more about the companies values and responsibility in the obesity. but you can't deny exercise and healthy eating are the recommended ways to prevent obesity, and excursive doesn't mean "hitting the gym" it might mean playing in the park instead of video games or riding a bike instead of driving. this article makes you look ignorant as you are just looking to blame people for obesity which in most cases is a lack of self control.