Tag Archives: marketing

Melissa Joan Hart Reveals 30-Pound Weight Loss in New Nutrisystem Commercial

In the ’90s, Melissa Joan Hart explained how to balance the ups and downs of being a teenager. Now, as Nutrisystem’s newest brand ambassador, she’s ready to share how the meal delivery weight loss system helped her lose 30 pounds. The actor and mother of three is the star of Nutrisystem’s most recent commercials, and discusses how the weight loss system worked for her.

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When she assumed her role as brand ambassador, Hart talked about how Nutrisystem had been working for her already.

“The program is really delivering results for me and I look forward to long term success, staying motivated and helping others at the same time.”

She certainly has experienced great success on the program, which she started after the birth of her third son. In a press release, Hart said, “I had heard rave reviews about Nutrisystem. My sister-in-law had great success with it and I decided that I had to try the program out for myself. It’s easy and fits in perfectly with my busy life. I get to eat all the foods I love like pasta, burgers, chocolate and ice cream. Who knew that losing the weight and getting back into shape could taste so good!”

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Coca-Cola is the Wellness Sponsor at BlogHer 2013, Bloggers Unite to Protest on Twitter

Coca-Cola has been named the “wellness” sponsor for BlogHer 2013, an annual conference that celebrates the best in health, family, entertainment, sex, DIY, and political blogging by and for women. Coca-Cola will be hosting their Steps to Wellness challenge and campaign at this weekend’s conference, but not without a bit of backlash first. Even though Coke will be handing out pedometers to all BlogHer attendees (speaking of pedometers, it takes 40 minutes of walking to burn off the calories in a can of Coke), their presence under auspices of being a health brand is rubbing the wellness community the wrong way.

Leah Segedie, a health blogger and founder of Mamavation, is calling out BlogHer, which did not return our request for comment, for choosing the soft drink brand as the wellness sponsor. Tonight, she is hosting a Twitter party to spread the word.

“I don’t know why they chose to accept Coke as a sponsor, but this marketing ploy is consistent with what they’ve been doing all year with other conferences, commercials, and outlets,” said Leah. She cited Coke’s falling market share and lawsuits (this week it’s VitaminWater for deceptive labeling) as the main motivation to “make people feel better about drinking their product again.”

A 12-ounce serving of Coca-Cola is a 140 calorie and 39.9 gram blast of high fructose corn syrup. Coca-Cola is not a healthy beverage, and meanwhile more than one-third of Americans are obese because they drink too much of the stuff. Additionally, the soda contains artificial dyes, GMOs, and has traces of BPA from the aluminum can, a known obesogen. High fructose corn syrup can lead to diabetes and diet soda has been proven to increase your waist size, not to mention a bevy of other health-related side effects from drinking the caramel colored syrup. (more…)

Big Food’s Deep Pockets Have Infiltrated the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and RDs Won’t Stand for It

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.

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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…)

Obesity Makes Career Success Difficult, Particularly for Women

When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie revealed he underwent Lap-Band surgery last month, it instantly fueled speculation that it was at least in part about his 2016 presidential aspirations. True or not, there are valid reasons to consider that weight loss as a powerful tool in helping him to the highest office in the land.woman

All you have to do is look at the people who hold the highest positions in private companies. According to a 2009 study, just five percent of CEOs in the U.S. were obese (with a BMI over 30).

If you drop down to the overweight classification (a BMI between 25 and 29), there is a dramatic difference, but only for male CEOs. The 2009 study estimated between 45 and 61 percent of top male CEOs are overweight. Only five percent of overweight CEOs are women.

What would account for such a major gender gap? Women already fight an unfair uphill battle for wage equality, so one can probably safely assume a significant double standard in how men and women with weight issues are perceived.

“It appears that the glass ceiling effect on women’s advancement may reflect not only general negative stereotypes about the competencies of women, but also weight bias that results in the application of stricter appearance standards to women,” said study co-author Mark Roehling, Michigan State University associate professor of human resource management. (more…)

Dannon Secretly Reduces Sugar in its Kid-Friendly Yogurt. Does It Matter?

If you or your kids are regular consumers of Dannon’s Danimals Smoothies, you’ve been taking in about 25 percent less sugar with each serving. Since February they’ve cut back the sugar in their kid-focused yogurt. They purposefully didn’t make a big deal about it as to avoid scaring off consumers.

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It’s not the first time a brand has made a change to its formula only to reap the repercussions of consumers who prefer the status quo. McDonald’s faced backlash when switching from an animal fat frying oil to canola over concerns those world-famous fries would taste different. (Today their website boasts the use of a canola oil blend and that all fried foods on its menu are free of trans fats.)

And of course everyone knows the tale of New Coke, when the soft drink company reformulated its soda and became one of the most infamous marketing flops around. So changing something that wasn’t necessarily broken had to be done so in an exacting way by Dannon. It’s no surprise that the brand treaded these sugary waters carefully.

“One thing I have learned is that the main driver of yogurt sales above all is taste,” said Sergio Fuster, senior vice president for marketing at Dannon, to NYTimes.com. “You do not want to send any signal to the consumer that might lead her to believe the taste has changed because she will simply pick up another yogurt — and it may not be ours.” (more…)

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Relationships with Big Food Soil the Good Name of Registered Dietitians

A couple of bad reviews on Yelp can put a restaurant out of business. It’s called a reputation crisis. Registered dietitians (RDs) face a reputation crisis due to the actions of their parent organization, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). AND is being called out for having close ties to the food industry. For their nutrition conferences and events, AND accepts sponsorship from big food and beverage corporations. Sponsorship gives the appearance of conflict of interest, and in reputation management, perception is everything.

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It started last October when lawyer/author Michele Simon released a report, “And Now a Word from Our Sponsors.” She called out AND for having close ties to Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Mars, and the like because those companies sponsor their continuing education activities. Soon, celebrity nutritionists like Marion Nestle and Dr. Mercola were writing about “How the Junk Food Industry Controls Registered Dietitians.” And then, this month, another incident made the New York Times, Food Politics Creates Rift in Panel on Labeling. More negative press. I fear AND has sullied my unblemished reputation. (more…)

The Science of Mouthfeel and How it Feeds the Food Industry

I recently discussed how food companies carefully formulate their products for mass consumption. One of the more important elements to making a food desirable is the so-called mouthfeel, the texture and the perception of that texture, good or bad.

I am aware of this phenomenon firsthand, because even though I am knowledgeable about what is and how it is not healthy to put in my body, I sometimes find myself at the mercy of a food. Certain types of chips can make me lose control, but I happen to also be a bit of a crackhead when it comes to anything gummy.

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Gummies are a really great example of how mouthfeel is used in food manufacturing. There’s something about the tangy taste coupled with the chewy texture that could really set me off on a binge if I wasn’t careful.

In many cases, “mouthfeel” has no sinister connotation at all. It’s used in wine and beer tasting as just one of several descriptive factors when reviewing products. But it also describes how certain foods and drinks are a perfect match, because one is an astringent that makes you “pucker up” and the other is fatty or oily which resolves the dry feel now in your mouth and throat with its lubricating properties. Think red wine with steak or coffee and ice cream. (more…)

Retrofit Reduces Prices and Introduces its First COO, Kimberly Williams

Retrofit, a weight loss company designed to help clients make a life-long change, is making some major changes itself. A new way of pricing, new location, and new Chief Operating Officer are proof of how the young company is growing and developing.

The new pricing system is the direct result of consumer feedback, Retrofit Chief Marketing Officer Kim Evenson said. The brand is introducing a new 24-month payment plan without interest or additional fees added. “This allows people to pay over a longer time frame, since Retrofit is a lifetime change,” Evenson said. In addition to the payment plan, Retrofit is also offering a five percent discount to clients who pay monthly and a 10 percent discount to clients who pay for the program in full. (more…)

Octavia Spencer Loses 20 Pounds with Sensa

Octavia Spencer, the Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress in The Help, is the new spokesperson for Sensa. Since assuming her newest starring role, she’s lost 20 pounds in five months; weight loss featured in this newest Sensa television commercial. The actress was noticeably heavier when she played the role of Minny Jackson flawlessly; but in these recent images of Octavia it’s clear that she’s either avoiding the chocolate pies altogether or using Sensa to allow her to still indulge. (more…)

“Change Our Eating Habits or Die” is Jonathan Bailor’s Message in Launching SlimIsSimple.org

Jonathan Bailor, author of The Smarter Science of Slim, has recently launched a non-profit organization called SlimIsSimple.org. This group was created with the help of anonymous investors who are passionate about the damage that’s being done to our country (when it comes to proper nutrition and health) and who realize it’s all preventable with proper diet and exercise. This large group of gentlemen helped fund the development of the video above which explains how simple it is to understand what a healthy diet should consist of. (more…)