by Marion Nestle
Mar 2 2010

Kellogg seeks weight-loss health claim for cereals

While we are on the subject of European decisions on health claims, Kellogg has just petitioned the European Food Safety Authority to be allowed to put claims for weight loss on its breakfast cereals: “Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal can help to reduce body weight, can help to reduce body fat, can help to reduce waist circumference.”

Do you think they mean Froot Loops?

Kellogg is always way ahead of the curve on health claims.  What is especially creative about this one is that the company is filing the claim through “article 13.5,” which means that the “science still remains proprietary and does not require disclosure through this process.  A Kellogg official explained:

As we understand article 13.5, five years after approval of the health claim, the wording can then can be used by other cereal manufacturers but our scientific data does not have to be made public.

EFSA, I hope, will turn this one down flat.  I want to see the science before believing that breakfast cereals are diet products.  Sure they are, if you eat just one serving for breakfast, use one more to substitute for a meal, and then eat a small meal.  That would work.  But so would chocolate bars.

  • Maggie K

    Don’t give the candy industry any ideas!

  • Anthro

    Food producers really have no shame at all. If they have scientific evidence, then why avoid producing it? I wonder how much they spend on lawyers to go through these regulations to look for loopholes?

  • Bobby

    Lies, damn lies, and food company lies!

  • http://www.josephbgentzel.com Joseph Gentzel, PT

    It should be pretty hard for a cerial maker to claim weight loss benefits when grains cause reactions in the body that produce inflammation that leads to weight gain plus many health problems such as heart, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, etc., etc.
    That is not even accounting for the sugar used.

  • Emily

    I’d much rather have the chocolate, too. Froot Loops and their ilk are NASTY!

  • http://mediterraneandiet.tv/ edSanDiego

    You are what you eat. Don’t be a fruit loop.

  • ET Addison

    Nutritionists are partly to blame for all this crap.

    ‘Low fat’ = healthy.

    ‘Grains’ = healthy

    ‘Low-calorie ‘= healthy

    Kellog is just jumping on the same bandwagon.

    I’d like to see a law governing what RDs and Nutritionists can say on TV and in Good Housekeeping.

    Most of them spout a lot of unproven, dubious folklore too.

    ‘Antioxidants’ prevent cancer. ‘Whole grains fight heart disease’

    RDs and nutritionists should have warning labels, too.

  • Subvert

    Any ‘eat/drink this to lose weight’ claim is a dead giveaway… They should just label the product with “If you eat buy this, you’re more stupid than we thought”.

    Seriously, eat to lose weight?! How about DON’T eat this and lose weight. Maybe that’s what they would tell you if they really cared about your health!

    Calorie deficits create an environment for your body to burn more energy than it takes in and cause you to lose weight. Believing that you can eat your way to weight loss is just a sad and depressing downward spiraling dream. A dream that Kellogg’s and other companies would love to have you partake in. The more you eat, the more they profit.

  • http://www.sustainweb.org/childrensfoodcampaign/ Christine

    Ah, Kellogg’s. They do try anything to get people to eat more of their products, don’t they? In the UK they’ve just run an advertising campaign encouraging kids to eat Coco Pops as an afternoon snack. Never mind that Kellogg’s are partners in the UK government’s Change4Life anti-obesity campaign and that Coco Pops are 35% sugar. We thought their adverts could do with a better slogan, and asked people to make some suggestions. You can see a selection of them at http://www.sustainweb.org/childrensfoodcampaign/coco_pops/

  • Anthro

    @ET Addison

    May we know your qualifications for making these accusations against highly educated and trained professionals?

  • Brenda

    WOW!! Who the F do this people think they are? I mean comments like that just make my blood boil. The public is serious need of a wake up call.

    Their “science still remains proprietary and does not require disclosure through this process,” BECAUSE IT DOES NOT EXIST!!

  • Subvert

    @Christine: Great link. I like the campaign!

  • Pete

    @ Anthro
    Why does he need qualifications? Anyone can tell there is lack of consensus. So which of the highly qulaified esteemed experts is right? The one that says grains are good or the ones that say they are bad?

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