Monday, August 27, 2007

Another "healthy" criteria to add to the confusion...

It drives me crazy when companies define something as healthy because usually the products they are advertising as such don't really contribute much to overall health.

If it weren't for blogs like Parke Wilde's US Food Policy, I would have totally missed Kellogg's announcement to limit advertising to children for their products that don't meet a certain nutrition criteria. In one post, Parke talks about Kellogg changing the serving size for Trix cereals so that it can be advertized.

A related post about the froot loops cereal straws showed how this product also meets the "healthy" criteria set by Kelloggs. Some good points were brought out in the comments section:

Kati from Preschool Rock said:
"This shows how implementing a policy based on nutrients alone to define 'healthy' is the wrong approach. It looks like this product fits the criteria Kelloggs set to allow advertising to kids - "no more than 200 calories, no trans fat, no more than 2 grams of saturated fat, no more than 230 milligrams of sodium and no more than 12 grams of sugar." (...) Is this food healthy? It's almost 40% table sugar. I don't think we're teaching children a thing about healthy eating because the product contains 'only' 3 teaspoons of sugar."

On the other hand, Lisa stated that the food is not labelled as healthy, she considers it a treat and that she allows her kids to have one straw a day, which adds up to only one teaspoon of sugar. I wonder how that compares to a glass of chocolate milk, for example...

Anyway, my point is that all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle, but I wouldn't go by industry's definition of healthy. Consider where the food fits into your lifestyle and make your decision from there.

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