As you know by now, trans fat is finally getting kicked to the curb. Trans fat, a packaged food additive also known as partially hydrogenated oil, is added to food for its preservative quality and contributes to artery clogging and cardiovascular disease. The FDA’s proposed ban hopes to prevent 7,000 deaths from heart disease and 20,000 deaths from heart attack per year.
Over the next 50 or so days, the FDA will be pouring over scientific data to determine if trans fat needs to be removed from the GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe,” list of foods. If trans fat are indeed determined to not be GRAS, any food product with trans fat will be deemed illegal for sale in the U.S. Under current guidelines, if a food product contains less than 0.5 grams trans fat, shown as partially hydrogenated oils on the ingredients list, the nutrition label can claim it has 0 percent. Sketchy stuff.
Trans fat won’t disappear completely, as it naturally occurs in some dairy and meat products. But the artificial stuff—created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil—is lurking in many of the popular food items on grocery store shelves. Peanut butter, popcorn, and frozen foods are the more well known products that contain trans fat, but those are just the tip of this fatty iceberg. Soon, trans fat will be banished from the supermarket, but until then, we’ve compiled a list of the trans fattiest foods at your local grocer.
Betty Crocker Bisquick and Canned Frosting
Coffee Mate Coffee Creamer (Multiple Flavors)
Duncan Hines Cake and Cupcake Mixes
Nabisco Fig Newtons (more…)
The Lorax isn’t directly connected with the dietetic field, but if he speaks for the trees then they are speaking for the health of humanity. The Lorax’s sage words, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not,” could be the motto of a recently formed group called Dietitians for Professional Integrity.
For now their presence is largely on Facebook and they’re working together, with both dietitians and concerned citizens, to make sure the field’s largest trade organization, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), hears not just their complaints but their calls to action.
See, the AND accepts sponsorship dollars to keep their organization rolling. But Andy Bellatti, creator of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, and his colleagues are calling bull – these sponsorships are paid for by the very brands these professionals are working hard against.
“Our main initiative is to have the Academy cut ties with its current sponsors,” noted Bellatti.
When you take a look at their on-going corporate sponsors, that’s where you can see how these dietitians are saying the AND “soils the good name of registered dietitians,” according to our Mary Hartley, RD.
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hershey, Abbott Nutrition (which produces Similac), General Mills, and Kellogg’s are some of the organization’s major sponsors. It’s cause for red flags amongst the organization’s members and the citizens who support this movement.
“The big picture issue is how Coca-Cola teaches webinars to RDs, how McDonald’s serves lunch at the California Dietetic Association conference, and how PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are financial contributors to the Academy’s Evidence Analysis Library,” declared Bellatti. To that, Monsanto sponsored the New York State Dietetic Association’s annual meeting.
“The organization chooses to align itself with these brands. It’s misguided,” he said. “It makes us look tone deaf during a public health crisis.” (more…)
You know advertising is a big deal when there’s such a thing as Advertising Week in the U.S. While few consumers took note, the event is happening this week in New York with the goal of identifying how brands sold by marketers can produce better business results.
A study released yesterday identified which brands are the most powerful and how they’re getting it right. Additionally, the study pointed out the problems of brands whose value is on the decline.
As reported by Yahoo Finance, the study is the 13th annual Best Global Brands report from Interbrand – an Omnicon Group-owned brand consulting company. The result of the study was a ranking of the top 100 most valuable brands based on measures such as financial performance, how the brand influences consumer choices, and its ability to boost its parent company’s earnings.
The best global brands of 2012 include 1) Coca-Cola, 2) Apple, 3) IBM, 4) Google and 5) Microsoft. Ferrari and Gap round out the list in slots 99 and 100, respectively.
Of the ranking, Christine Fruecthe, president and chief executive at Colle and McVoy advertising agency, believes companies should take note as to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing and advertising their brand. “When we put together advertising programs, we’re constantly keeping in mind how to add shareholder value,” she said during the Advertising Week panel on Monday. “We want to have a tangible impact on the client’s business or service.”
As an example of their work, Colle and McVoy pointed to their client Caribou Coffee Company whose share value has risen from $1.17 to $18 since beginning work with the agency. The message here? Advertising is powerful, and when done well, it works.
Coca-Cola knows this. The soda company was ranked number one again for the 13th consecutive year. Its estimated brand value? $77.8 billion, up 8 percent from the 2011 report. Coca-Cola executive vice president and chief marketing commercial officer Joseph Tripodi believes this success is due to effective ads, which he suspects will help Coca-Cola increase its revenue from $95 billion in 2008 to $200 billion in 2020. (more…)
Yesterday, Kellogg’s Special K launched a new campaign and tools to accompany their weight-loss challenge in an apparent effort to reposition the brand. In addition to the cereal, Special K foods include bars, crackers, chips, water mixes and protein shakes. The Special K Challenge has not changed nutritionally, but now the site and mobile app provide those who sign up with more tools to track their weight loss and stay accountable.
A new angle of the campaign is to help women feel more “body confidant” and in control of their weight. However, both Special K products and the Special K Challenge have come under criticism by health experts. The challenge itself can be extremely low in calories, consisting of two Special K meal replacements, two Special K snacks and one healthy meal per day. The current campaign is focusing on messages of empowerment and long-term health, rather than simply focusing on the scale. Although such a message is noble, the company seems to be trying to position these products as part of a long-term weight management program, when really the Special K Challenge is a crash diet that’s low on nutritional value. Although fairly low-calorie, most Special K products contain high amounts of sugar and are generally too processed for us to considered them really healthy.