Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Krispy Kreme for the Cure!

Whoops, I'd better watch myself, the Susan G. Komen folks may send me a cease and desist letter for using the words, "for the Cure!".

Today's brand polishing opportunity comes on the heels of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training who apparently are selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts to fundraise.

So what's the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training all about? It's a,

"year-round marathon training program reaches highly-motivated and dedicated women and men who are active consumers and interested in taking on the ultimate challenge of running or walking a marathon, completing a 100-mile century ride or a triathlon."
Participants are asked to help fund the research to end this disease once and for all.

And I get it, training's expensive, and fundraising's important, and why not lean on the generosity of Krispy Kreme to help?

That's a fair question, but so too is the question, what's in it for Krispy Kreme?

The answer may be as simple as altruism, but I think it's more likely about brand polish, as the practice of coupling an unhealthy product with a healthy cause is a great way to encourage people to feel good about buying the unhealthy product and helps to elevate the unhealthy brand as a whole.

In terms of the impact of obesity on leukemia?

A recent meta-analysis concluded,
"findings from this meta-analysis of prospective studies provide evidence that excess body weight may increase the risk of developing leukemia"
While other studies have demonstrated that
"obesity in children 10 years and older is associated with a 50% increased recurrence of acute lymphoblastic leukemia"
No one would ever raise money for lung cancer research by selling tobacco products, and while I realize it's an extreme parallel, I do think it's important to recognize that unhealthy products tie themselves to these types of causes because it benefits them, and while fundraising to help fund leukemia research is a wonderful and worthy cause, is there really nothing else these kind hearted, motivated folks could sell to fund their cure?

[Hat tip to CarrotLines' Wahiba Chair!]

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  1. Steve7:53 am

    Are there any truly good news food stories to report on? :-)

  2. This is horrifying, just like every October when breast cancer awareness month rolls around and the first thing I see when I walk into the supermarket is a table piled to the ceiling with pink frosted cupcakes and cookies. Because we all know that refined flour, tons of sugar, artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives & chemicals are great for your health in general, and spending $5 on a box of stale cookies might actually get 50 cents in the hands of cancer researchers...what a joke.

  3. At first I thought the same thing, Krispy Creme and cure in the same sentence makes no sense. But, it's not about krispy creme. People in the 1950's ate glazed donuts and didn't have an obesity problem. My husband grew up on them as a treat when parents went out on a date. The problem today is parents don't cook. They eat in the car out of a bag 4 times a week. Or a box that is delivered by the pizza man. My husband was skinny and still has no weight problem. Our problem is a fat culture inside of a culture where no one has learned restraint about ANYTHING. Do it all, have it all, eat it all, snort it all, drink it all, gaze at it all. Food addiction just happens to show up in a big way, but we live in a addicted culture.

  4. Angela, there are people walking around with weight problems who hardly eat anything all day. I'm one of them. I low-carb, but eating less did not magically make me skinny overnight. Please do not encourage the types of generalizations that hurt overweight people more than helping them.

    As for your husband's experience, he may not have turned out fat, but did he turn out absolutely okay? Dr. Michael Eades likes to share photos from the 1920s that demonstrate there were hardly any fat people back then. Yet, the dentist Weston Price was practicing in the 20s and 30s and found many, many cases of children with tooth decay and poorly developed faces and jaws. He got curious about why that was, traveled the world and found some interesting answers. To wit, what you eat is just as important as what you don't eat, and there's more than one way to get messed up from your diet.

    The key phrase I took away from his work was "displacing foods of modern commerce." And this is where I more agree with you. You rightly point out that nowadays, parents don't cook. That matters because of what sorts of foods restaurants and industrial food sellers offer. There are foods that used to be in our diet and that encouraged good health which for all intents and purposes no longer exist in the diet.

    I've been reading all sorts of Paleo and primal and ancestral-nutrition blogs and one thing I've taken away is that studies have been done on rats having to do with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Apparently, as many as one in three Americans suffer from this disease, and for most of them it is not showing up on lab tests as elevated liver enzymes. And it doesn't matter what weight you are--slender people get it too. We understand at this point that eating more fructose contributes to the disease--another reason to low-carb.

    Well, it turns out that in these rat studies, if the rats were getting enough choline in their diets, they were remarkably resistant to fatty liver disease no matter how much fructose they were fed. But if they were choline-deficient, it was very easy to give them that disease with fructose-feeding.

    The two best sources of choline in the human diet (the supplements are NOT as good for you) are liver and egg yolks. When was the last time you heard anyone speak longingly of either food? You probably don't hear it real often.

    Fatty liver is also strongly associated with diabetes whether or not obesity accompanies it. I don't think the disappearance of liver and egg yolks from the average American diet, and the advent of type 2 diabetes, are exactly coincidence.

  5. Dana
    My point is that one donut is not the cause of obesity any more than one glass of wine is the cause of alcoholism. I personally do not eat donuts as they don't make me feel good, but I've learned to be careful about making any one food or company the demon cause of obesity. My husband is 50 and extremely healthy. We get blood tested every year. But, he also eats all the right foods and exercises. He can eat a sweet or a donut and maintain his health. And, he enjoys a beer at night. Maybe someone else can't and that calls for self-monitoring, the same way one person can drink one glass of wine and another can't stop. But, do we attack the winery as the problem for alcoholism and go back to prohibition.

    I don't propose anything that would hurt overweight people and I'm sorry you read my comment that way.
    But, I don't believe obesity is a death row sentence if a person wants to discover their individual solution and it is different for everyone. I need to exercise five times a week to maintain my normal weight and body fat. Someone else might be able to get away with twice a week. I can't eat donuts, but someone else can in moderation of course.
    It takes dedication to fight for one's own body. On one hand it's a challenge to say no to the easily available junk food. On the other hand, there have never been so many good choices to eat for a society at one time. There was a time people could only eat what they grew and if the crops failed they went hungry. My great grandmother and my husband's grandmother cooked all day long on wood stoves with no air conditioning. But, we would rather complain about taking five minutes to roast a vegetable in our air-conditioned kitchen and this mentality has helped build a fat culture. As far as my great grandmother and her children, no one was fat; they lived to ripe old ages. They ate carbs, but they worked hard and didn't eat processed foods. They ate LOTS of fresh food, which helps combat health problems and obesity.
    I care about the obesity problem. I don't take it lightly. But, I have also observed my overweight friends and their eating habits and cooking habits and restaurant habits. They didn't get fat because they went to the farmer's market. And, when I invite them to exercise with me, they make excuses. I'm not blaming them personally; I'm saying the good news is that obesity shouldn't be looked at as fatalistic. There is hope; there are answers. It's not a sentence that can't be turned around. It's a matter of finding out what works for you and it's not always one simple answer. But there is an answer.

  6. Loved the parallel between selling cigarettes to fundraise for lung cancer. Posted in my blog - great reflection.