A few weeks ago I wrote a post for
LeaderTalk about the growing problem of childhood
obesity. Well, I am pleased to report that there is a little movement
in the corporate world to address this issue.
I have always been careful not to endorse products as a school principal. I also do not endorse the companies that try to take advantage of the captive audience in schools and who market their products to our students. I have turned down numerous offers to bring products, services, or "fund-raisers" that are designed with hidden agendas into my school. In other words, I tend to take a more cynical approach in that I believe these companies' reasons for contacting me is to increase their bottom line and not help our students.
That being said, I am breaking with my philosophy this one time to congratulate the Kellogg's Company for their recent announcement to raise the nutritional value of their kids' foods. I am absolutely thrilled with this news. Kellogg's will reformulate certain popular children's products to meet stricter health criteria, or they will stop marketing these unhealthy products to children under the age of 12 by the end of 2008.
I applaud Kellogg's for this move, although the cynical Dave knows that a potential lawsuit was the catalyst for this move. Kellogg's, which is the No.1 cereal-maker also makes many popular snack foods marketed for children. I hope that other huge food and drink companies will follow the Kellogg's lead, and reduce the amount of fats, sugars, and sodium in their foods.
I also hope that these mega-conglomerates will change their marketing philosophies and stop pushing unhealthy foods down the throats of unsuspecting and naive children.
American companies spend about $15 billion a year marketing and advertising to children under age 12, the Institute of Medicine said when it warned that one-third of American children are obese or at risk for becoming obese.