Saturday, April 21, 2012


The eternal debate regarding the role of food industry in creating a morbid community with life style diseases and obesity crippling them, is unlikely to abate in the foreseeable future but industry has to take some blame for making the "food marketing environment" more attractive for binge eating with nutritive products taking a back seat. It is said that though people know what is good eating, their innate sense to go for good foods is thwarted by limited choices available in the market. In this context, recent voluntary moves y some of the food giants to change their product portfolio for including more nutritive items is most welcome. Here is a take on this burning issue.

"American food processing company General Mills has announced that more than 50 of its cereals will now feature white check, which indicates that the cereal has more whole grain than any other single ingredient. To help people keep track of their intake, the cereals with the white check will highlight the grams of whole grain per serving on the side of each cereal box. In addition, the cereals will have whole grain listed first on the ingredient list, indicating that a whole grain is the first and most prevalent ingredient. The cereals with white check will be classified under under General Mills Big G cereal range. The range includes products such as Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Total, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cheerios".

How far such a move will achieve the desired goal of attracting consumers to more healthy foods is a matter of conjecture. By now many experts agree with the prevailing feeling that food is an addictive like tobacco and alcoholic beverages and it is not a mean task to wean addicts from their regular habits. One has to only recall the herculean efforts in the past in many countries to overcome addiction to stimulants through banning the products or high-pricing them with no effect at all. Probably the only way to handle the situation is to take on board the manufacturers and change their mindset to make more and more healthy foods with sound policy orchestration including fiscal incentives. 

No comments: