Sunday, March 14, 2010


It is good to hear about critical assessment of children's foods available in the market with regard to their nutritive and other health promoting values by a renowned scientific group with no Axe to grind in expressing their views. The outcome of the study does not bring credit to the industry viewed against the fast deteriorating health conditions amongst children in the US due to unbridled promotion of break fast cereals loaded heavily with sugar. The fact that children are attracted to products sweetened heavily and colored brightly is being exploited by the industry which had earlier announced a voluntary program to exercise restraint in promoting such products.

"Cereal makers have long tapped the gold mine that is the children's market, typically with products that are a far cry from a healthy breakfast. Now a recent study sheds more light on why these sweetened cereals hold such sway with the youth of America. The first reason is simple. There's not much to pick from when it comes to healthy kid offerings. According to the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, only one of the 33 children's cereals ( Mini Wheats) rated as healthy, which required a nutrition score of 62 or better. The worst offender was Reese's Puffs. Guess that's not too shocking when a cereal brand is spawned from a candy bar. The second reason these cereals are so popular is that many of the unhealthiest brands are the ones marketed the most to children. Of the 10 lowest-rated children's cereals, seven were listed as heavily marketed, according to the Yale study".

How can any one bring such an irresponsible and insensitive industry to reason when scientific findings clearly hold such foods contributing significantly to childhood obesity? Voluntary restraint does not seem to be working and parental control on purchase of foods for kids is at best notional. Probably the taxation route and ban on advertisement of high sugar foods may be the only way for controlling this trend.


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