Calley Means Profile picture
May 4 13 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Yesterday, @MichelleObama announced she is partnering with a junk food company to sell sugar water to kids.

We must speak plainly: this is a cynical cash grab.

Kids don't need safer cigarettes. And they don't need safer sugar water.

They need leadership.

Here's the facts: Image
Mrs. Obama partnered with Juggernaut Capital Partners, a private company that specializes in "celebrity-driven" junk food brands and pharmaceutical products. Image
Juggernaut recently helped The Rock launch Zoa Energy - full of chemicals and sugar.

The pitch to Mrs. Obama was obvious and simple: we will make you a billionaire, using a tried and true formula of addicting kids to sugar and celebrity marketing.…
Mrs. Obama's business strategy is sound: get kids hooked early on an addictive product.

That has been Warren Buffet's core investment thesis and has been shown to make money...

Getting kids addicted to sugar water early is a great way to create lifelong customers... Image
The nefarious thing of Mrs. Obama's strategy is she is branding sugar water (6 grams in every 8 ounces) as some kind of positive step for health...

This is moral cowardice to profit by hurting kids - pure and simple... Image
It is shameful that Mrs. Obama's website actually cites the USDA sugar guidance to say it is "recommended" for children 2 years and up to consume added sugar.

In black and white, Mrs. Obama is saying it is "okay" for 2-year-olds to have added sugar. Image
These USDA guidelines, cited by Mrs. Obama to sell an addictive product, are a scandal.

95% of the committee who created them had a conflict of interest.

Mrs. Obama should be calling this corruption out, not using it to profit!….
These actions have deadly impacts: According to Harvard, sugary drinks lead to at least 180,000 deaths per year.

When is comes to liquids, there is no difference between "added" or "natural" sugar -- the liquid form wipes out the benefits of whole food.…
The rise in sugary drinks are a chief kids to the harrowing statistics we are seeing among children.

Today, over 40% are overweight/obese. ~17% of teens have fatty liver disease. And nearly 30% of teens have pre-diabetes (which IS cellular dysfunction).…
Studies funded by food companies argue for incrementalism.

The author of the notorious Food Compass told me that "we can't expect kids to move from Honey Nut Cheerios to broccoli. They need to go from Honey Nut Cheerios to Cheerios."

Mrs. Obama uses this same "incrementalism" logic to sell her product.

Instead of speaking plainly that we have a rigged system, she is arguing that parents should acquiesce and give kids "better" sugar water.

This is like saying kids need safer cigarettes. Image
Leadership would be calling for Food Stamp funding to not go towards sugary drinks.

Leadership would be calling out the USDA recommendation for 10% added sugar.

Leadership would be calling our conflicts in nutrition studies, not using them to profit.
Mrs. Obama is demonstrating greed, not leadership.

Every journalist should be asking her two questions:

(1) How much is she making to sell sugar water to kids?

(2) Does she agree that it is "ok" for a child's diet to be 10% added sugar?

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More from @calleymeans

Mar 27
The playbook is being used again:

@novonordisk is paying the NAACP to say opponents of lifetime obesity injections (Ozempic/Wegovy) for kids are racist.

I saw these tactics firsthand. They are evil and hurt children of color the most.

Here’s why:
.@novonordisk wants to define obesity as a disease (not related to food) to ensure taxpayer funding.

This will ensure it is the most successful drug in history (80% of Americans are overweight)

They've paid think tanks, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the NAACP to help. Image
When it comes to the NAACP, the playbook is clear - label opponents of government funding for obesity injections as racist.

Here are official talking points from Novo Nordisk saying lack of access to Ozempic is an example of systemic racism. Image
Read 18 tweets
Feb 28
We're building an experienced, mission-driven team @TrueMedPayments -- and looking for one more senior software engineer.

We will wire $10,000 to whoever refers the person we hire.

We'd much rather give this $ to this community than recruiters.


The mission of TrueMed is to move healthcare incentives to promote metabolic habits like food, exercise and sleep.

We now have a sick-care system that profits off interventions once patients are sick.
How TrueMed is pursuing this mission:

(1/4) There is $140 billion sitting in HSA and FSA accounts. This is under-optimized pre-tax money (~35% savings) Americans can use to buy qualified medical expenses.
Read 12 tweets
Feb 16
I debated a Harvard Dr. about Ozempic on @bariweiss podcast.

Dr. Anekwe argued taxpayers should subsidize lifetime obesity injections for teens.

I put my heart + soul into arguing another direction.

Our kids' lives are at stake.


Several clips 👇
The biggest problem: children are being told that obesity is genetic and not a result of what they eat - and that Ozempic is the cure.

This is a lie.

Unless kids are encouraged to move and eat healthy food - they’ll get other diseases and live a worse life.
Not personal, but incentives explain everything.

A child that is encouraged to play outside and eat healthy isn’t profitable for obesity clinics. A child who is put on lifetime treatment is profitable. Again, Ozempic doesn’t address the root cause of metabolic dysfunction.
Read 7 tweets
Feb 14
I’m very proud of this podcast with @APompliano - I think it’s one of the best overviews of what patients should know about food incentives - with some actionable tips.

Give it a listen on YouTube (link below).
One topic covered:

Remember that study that said Lucky Charms were healthier than beef? Those ratings were supposed to be on children’s food labels co-founder @jwmares’s article on @micsolana’s substack led to a halt these efforts - which saved lives.
Check out the full YouTube here. Please leave a comment if this resonates!

Read 7 tweets
Feb 13
Semaglutide (obesity drug) could cost taxpayers more than $500 billion per year.

It would be significantly cheaper to buy every overweight American healthy food for life.

We are at a precipice moment.

Here's the math:
(200,000,000 obese or overweight Americans)
(50% drug penetration)
($13,000 annual cost)
(41% of drug costs paid by government)
Remember: semaglutide is on track for approval for obese AND "overweight" Americans - that's 45% of teens and 80% of adults.
Read 4 tweets
Feb 6
This former @a16z and @jpmorgan exec is saying to “f” a “grifter” high school student (who is motivated by personal history to help cure cancer).

It shouldn’t take a high schooler to realize Coke wants something for this $. And that health groups shouldn’t accept it.
Thanks @travelingenes for speaking out and thanks also to @Matt_Levine_1 for showing the delusion form “adults” she’s up against. Matt actually arguing that 2m of coke money to the American Doaberws Assocairikn is not notable because… the ADA take money from others…
It is evil for the American Diabetes Association to take millions of dollars from Coke. Period.

Adults with fancy credentials obfuscating or downplaying that these conflicts matter is what led to 25% teen pre-diabetes rate.

Instead Matt harassed mission-driven high schoolers.
Read 5 tweets

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