Whole Foods CEO Says Americans are Too Fat; Need to Eat Better
In a New York Times article to promote his new book, “Conscious Leadership," Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey calls for all Americans to lose weight (and avoid COVID-19) by learning how to eati better.
Mackey states: "We’re getting fat, and we’re getting sicker, by the way. I mean, there’s a very high correlation between obesity and Covid deaths. And one of the reasons the United States has had more of a problem with Covid is simply that the comorbidities like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, they’re just higher in the U.S."
Mackey, who founded a high-end grocery store and is not a doctor, thinks if people learn how to eat better, the health of our nation will improve.
"We have not done a good job of educating people about what healthy food is. I tend to think it’s going to come about through education and through people becoming more aware and conscious about eating healthier, and then the market will respond to that."
Three years ago, Whole Foods merged with Amazon to make its food more accessible. According to Mackey, Whole Foods' sales via Amazon have tripled during the pandemic. Still, some shopper find the supermarket too pricey and not as accessible as other supermarket chains.
"Whole Foods has opened up stores in inner cities," says Mackey. "We’ve opened up stores in poor areas. And we see the choices. It’s less about access and more about people making poor choices, mostly due to ignorance. It’s like a being an alcoholic. People are just not conscious of the fact that they have food addictions and need to do anything about it."
While food addiction is real, it is not up to Mackey to deem Americans ill due to a bad diet. Mackey's stores are not as ubiquitous as he claims, and Whole Foods is only available with Amazon Prime membership. Not once did Mackey, who calls his business practice "conscious capitalism" address the steep unemployment rate and food insecurity in the U.S. Mackey seems to be promoting his business and book with fear, by promoting fatphobia masquerading as health concern.