Whole Foods CEO Blasted for Suggesting Americans Need Better Diets Instead of Healthcare

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey faced criticism after arguing that the "best solution" to Americans' healthcare needs it to change their lifestyle.

whole foods backlash

Image via Getty

whole foods backlash

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey faced criticism over comments he made about healthcare in America.  

In an interview on Freakonomics Radio, Mackey told host Stephen Dubner that Americans don't need healthcare, they just need better diets and exercise routines, CNBC reported. *Crowd Boos*

"I mean, honestly, we talk about health care. The best solution is not to need health care," Mackey said in the Nov. 4 episode. "The best solution is to change the way people eat, the way they live, the lifestyle, and diet...There’s no reason why people shouldn’t be healthy and have a longer health span. A bunch of drugs is not going to solve the problem."

Many people pointed out how dumb Mackey's argument is, considering dieting and exercise has very little impact on medical needs related to preexisting conditions, cancer, pregnancy, emergencies like car accidents, and, oh I don't know, COVID-19

Yes, it was my lack of a pre-natal exercise routine that caused the Cerebral Palsy.

The guy just wants sick and disabled people to die, obviously.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey: Best solution is not to need health care https://t.co/sf50ooFJNn

— @ImaniBarbarin@disabled.social (@Imani_Barbarin) January 4, 2021

Great news, everybody, John Mackey at @WholeFoods has the cure for autoimmune disorders, allergies, broken bones, heart disease, strokes, etc! You'll need to pay exorbitant prices for your groceries at Whole Foods, but the bonus is you'll never need health care! It's a miracle!

— BrickmanInGA (@BrickmanInGA) January 4, 2021

My dad was literally born with one kidney, but sure. https://t.co/HEhYHHPkZ9

— 🫧Bubblegum Dreams and Emotional Support🫧 (@misskittyf) January 4, 2021

Others highlighted the audacity of Mackey's statements, considering he's personally worth a reported $75 million.

The corrupt CEO of Whole Foods John Mackey says Americans don’t need any healthcare because all they need is to eat much healthier and live better.

Since he’s worth $75M, join me in telling him to go to hell.

— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) January 4, 2021

John Mackey is out here acting like shopping at Whole Foods isn’t just as expensive as health insurance. https://t.co/aMOjKKh0p0

— Kendall Brown (@kendallybrown) January 4, 2021

Mackey's implications are more than a tone-deaf soundbite. It implies that people who don't follow "healthy" diets or "lifestyles" be rejected from healthcare services. Never mind that millions of Americans can't even afford to shop in his fancy grocery chain right now because they have no jobs and/or are dying from COVID-19.   

He’s right! When I broke my leg I wrapped it kale, fuck hospitals!!!

— Nanaue’s Fake Stache (@the_realfatsax) January 4, 2021

But aside from the fact that people are already dying, Mackey's later comments on the show about obesity imply that fat people don't deserve healthcare. He also ignores the reality of food deserts and how racism, especially anti-Black racism, impacts the health of communities. 

So the next time you're dying remember Mackey's wise words and eat a banana or something. 

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