Big food companies have long pushed for personal responsibility among consumers—the idea that, given the right information, most people can regulate their own diet and make good choices.
Take McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson. According to him, the mega-corporation hopes to, “use our size and scale around the world to help educate, empower, and encourage our customers to make informed choices so they can live a balanced, healthy lifestyle.” Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association’s new public awareness campaign and accompanying Mixify website is another good example. They’re aimed at educating the soda-drinking audience with a “calories in, calories out” message to prevent obesity. Read more
Back in January, I called out Gatorade’s Bolt! mobile game, which told young players to “Keep Your Performance Level High by Avoiding Water.” The game had players maneuver Olympian Usain Bolt’s character through a course in the fastest time possible, gathering Gatorade along the way and avoiding drops of water. Read more
In 2010, the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), whose members include PepsiCo, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and many other large food manufacturers, voluntarily pledged to collectively sell 1 trillion fewer calories in the U.S. marketplace by 2012 and 1.5 trillion fewer by 2015. Read more
In the new documentary ‘Fed Up,’ author and journalist Michael Pollan reminds us that: “Junk is still junk, even when it’s less junky.” If you want to see what Pollan is talking about, soon all you’ll need to do is walk into a classroom in a low-income school district at breakfast time. Read more
As if we needed one, there’s yet another reason to avoid soda and soft drinks. Last week, Consumer Reports announced that it had found potentially carcinogenic levels of 4-methyllimidazole (4-MeI) in eight out of the 12 popular brands of soft drinks that it tested. Read more
UPDATE January 11: IAB Mixx Bronze winner Gatorade (for strategies and objectives in mobile advertising for their Bolt! mobile gaming integration) has completely disappeared from the IAB Award Winners Gallery.
If you thought Big Soda’s decades-long “War on Water”–part of their strategy to increase sales of soda and other bottled drinks–couldn’t get any worse, you were wrong. The latest assault, courtesy of PepsiCo, is in the form of a mobile game for youth that brands water as the enemy of athletic performance. Read more
It sure didn’t take long for Big Soda to royally double-cross Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) on their “Drink Up” water campaign. Read more
At an August 2013 press conference, a frustrated President Obama stated, “I don’t know a law that solves a problem 100 percent.” He was referencing the painful fight over immigration reform. But food reformers should take his comment to heart. There’s no such thing as a perfect food policy or solution and those who pursue perfection are not only destined to fail, they may also unintentionally harm the cause in the process. Read more
During my junior high school years in Baltimore, food education was mandatory for every girl. While the boys hustled off to shop class, the girls entered a fully decked out modern kitchen to cook adult things that gave off heavenly aromas. We even had our own aprons, homemade from sewing class. Read more
In its continuing frenzy to silence potential critics, Coca-Cola issued a press release recently that announced the following:
Helene D. Gayle, M.D., M.P.H., has been nominated to stand for election to the Company’s Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting of Shareowners in April.Dr. Gayle, 57, is President and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organization whose poverty fighting programs reached approximately 122 million people last year in 84 countries.
Why in the world would Dr. Gayle want to sit on the Coca-Cola Board of Directors when Coca-Cola’s export of non-nutritious, sugary drinks to the world’s poorest countries is causing a new set of chronic health problems for those living in poverty — including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and dental caries (cavities)? The U.S. is already dealing with the phenomenon of food insecure families suffering from obesity, thanks in good part to overconsumption of cheap soft drinks that are heavily marketed in our poorest communities. Read more