The graph below illustrates the likelihood of a favorable decision from a judge based on when he or she takes a break to eat. At the start of each session, Israeli prisoners were likely to be granted parole 65% of the time, but that certainly was not true right before the judge decided to take a break.
Remember SnackWell’s snack cakes? Think back to the mid 90s and you might remember the distinct green packaging and popularity of their Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes. Nabisco SnackWell’s came along in 1992 and grew enormously popular as the go-to brand for low-fat snacks. Unfortunately, other brands caught on to the low calorie snack craze and forced SnackWell’s to stop advertising in 2005.
Now SnackWell’s is reintroducing the brand with several new snacks that are higher in calories than the popular 100 calorie portioned snacks that are widely available. The new offerings from SnackWell’s will have a very different packaging and will vary in calories but range from 130 to 150 calories per serving.
Although these snacks offer a low calorie count, all calories are not created equal. This product line is still very highly processed. The new products from SnackWell’s include Cinnamon Raisin Cereal Bars, Peanut Butter Cereal Bars, Chocolate Cereal Bars, White Fudge Drizzled Caramel Popcorn, Fudge Drizzled Caramel Popcorn, Vanilla Crème Brownie Bites, Fudge Crème Brownie Bites and Fudge Drizzled Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. A closer look at the ingredients on these new products reveals that most of them have brown sugar, sugar, maltitol syrup and corn syrup listed in the first five ingredients. They also include things like fructose, which is also a form of sugar, and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil which is trans-fat. The products are still allowed to make the claim of being trans-fat free if they contain less than 0.5 grams per serving, which is the case with the SnackWell’s products. This new product line proves the importance of reading nutrition labels.
In the May 16 edition of The New Yorker, John Seabrook delves into the ways that PepsiCo is working to reposition itself in light of the global obesity crisis. “Snacks for a Fat Planet” is bookended with the author’s interactions with Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s C.E.O. Nooyi argues that it’s not enough for the company to make snacks that taste good, but also be “the good company.”
Nooyi is clearly a leader who understands the huge potential for corporate good, both for the bottom line and for society. She also sees that the health crisis created by obesity does not bode well for the future of PepsiCo’s profits, no doubt a factor in the company’s efforts to make healthier products. Earlier this year, the company began making a number of Frito-Lay products with natural ingredients. They also have plans to reduce the amount of sodium and sugar in their products by 25 percent by the year 2015, under guidelines created by Derek Yach, the former World Health Organization cabinet director.
Potato chips get a bad rep, often from other snacks that aim to prove themselves as healthier alternatives. Fritio-Lay appears to be making some efforts to change this image, by cutting out artificial ingredients.
“If the ingredient isn’t in a consumer’s cupboard, can we get it off the label?” says Tim Fink, director of Frito-Lay’s seasonings team. The company is also reducing the sodium content of many of its popular chip brands by 25 percent, but they’re not advertising the change for fear that people will associate the new version with tasteless health food.
Social expectations can be huge pitfalls to healthy eating. It feels wrong to skip the cake at a friend’s birthday or a cocktail when celebrating your co-worker’s promotion. How do we get out of these situations without being a wet blanket? We’ve got solutions for some common food temptations.
Temptation: Office Birthday
Solution: Bring your own mug of coffee or tea, which will keep your co-workers from offering you soda, plus hot liquids can help you feel full. It is probably obligatory to eat a few bits of that store-bought cake, but don’t feel bad asking for a thin slice or ditching your portion at an appropriate moment.