Originally published October 19 2015
Why is Warren Buffet investing in so many junk food companies that cause widespread disease among Americans?
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Uber-liberal investment guru Warren Buffett, founder of Berkshire Hathaway, is generally taken seriously when he hands out investment advice, given his net worth of about $72 billion. But when it comes to nutrition, perhaps not so much.
As noted by Reuters, nutritionists far and wide are warning that, while the guru's investment advice may be sound, he has invested in a number of companies that manufacture lots of junk food, a diet of which isn't a good idea to consume.
He recently added Velveeta cheese, Lunchables, Jell-O, Oscar Mayer hotdogs and Kool-Aid to his portfolio when Kraft Foods Group, Inc., was acquired by H.J. Heinz Co., which is controlled by 3G Capital and Buffett's firm.
Buffett's collection already included a diversity of junk food companies like Burger King, soft drinks by Coca-Cola, Tim Horton donuts, See's Candies and Dairy Queen ice cream as well Heinz brands like Tomato Ketchup, Ore-Ida fries, bagel bites and T.G.I. Friday's mozzarella sticks.
As Reuters further noted:
Altogether, Buffett is assembling one of the biggest ranges of snack food brands in the world. Heinz does say on its website that its global portfolio "is centered on nutritious foods made with tomatoes, beans, fruits and vegetables" but nutritionists still regard many of the products as closer to the junk-food category.
Not setting a good example
Buffett, known as the "Oracle of Omaha," where his Berkshire Hathaway firm is headquartered, has become one of history's most successful investors. He also eats what he invests in; he basks in a high-sugar, high-salt diet that is akin, he has said, to eating like a six-year-old.
"If somebody told me that I live a year longer by eating nothing but broccoli and asparagus from now on... every day will seem like as long. I'll stick with the Cheetos and the Coke," Buffett told CNBC in March 2010, as reported by Reuters.
Buffett's favorite breakfast, according to reports, is a can of Coke and Utz Potato Stix; throughout the day he'll likely drink four more Cokes, finishing a particularly long day with a Cherry Coke. That high-sugar diet would likely make any child a hyperactive mess.
"I think we can emulate Warren in some ways but not in others," Joanne Ikeda, nutritionist emeritus at University of California Berkeley, told Reuters. "He's got a devil-may-care attitude that perhaps helped him get ahead with finances. Some people are impervious to sickness."
But most aren't, and data and studies show that diets such as those adopted by Buffett add to the nation's obesity problem, which then feeds into more heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Buffett, however, is unfazed. During a recent visit to the Four Seasons restaurant in New York City, the multi-billionaire investor ordered dessert from a nearby Dairy Queen to finish off his steak-and-Cherry Coke dinner. He was forced, instead, to settle for chocolate chip cookies.
Buffett knows what most Americans like to eat
And three-day annual investor meetings held by Berkshire Hathaway are likely to feature Buffett and the thousands that attend feasting on delights in his company portfolio.
"His attitude toward this kind of food is a little worrisome," David Seres, MD, director of medical nutrition at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, told Reuters. He added that he believes such carefree dietary investments are sending the very worst kind of message to the country.
"He is not what I would call an ideal role model in eating and his attitude toward nutrition in general," Seres said.
No similar concern besets investors on Wall Street. In fact, says financial analyst Tony Scherrer, Buffett is wired in to what Middle Americans often consume, and he also is keenly aware of what kinds of foods, sadly, appeal to a majority of us.
"Most of America is not in a spot where veggie trends are as ubiquitous as in the urban areas -- think New York versus the Midwest," said Scherrer, director of research at Smead Capital Management.
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