As reported in today’s New York Times, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND, formerly the American Dietetic Association) has licensed its Kids Eat Right seal to—get this— Kraft Singles.
But no, AND says, this is not an endorsement. Kraft is merely a “proud supporter of” AND’s Kids Eat Right program.
As the Times understates the matter,
Over the last few years, the academy been criticized from some of its members and health advocates over what they contend are its overly cozy ties to industry.
Kraft is well known as a sponsor of AND. Such seals are usually money-raising gimmicks.
I’m wondering if “proud supporter of” means that Kraft pays AND for use of this seal. If so, I’d like to know what the seal costs.
AND members: do any of you know?
Recall the debacle over the Smart Choices logo some years ago.
The press had a field day with the Smart Choices logo on Froot Loops. As Rebecca Ruiz at Forbes puts it, “the uproar over the program has conveyed a definitive message to industry: Don’t try to disguise a nutritional sin with a stamp of approval.”
Somehow, Kraft and AND seem to have missed this lesson.
Thanks to Yoni Freedhoff for sending this explanation:
And this enlightening note from ABC News:
The academy…said the appearance of the logo on the processed cheese product is not an endorsement or seal of approval. It’s more like an ad for Kids Eat Right, according to the academy, though, in a reversal of how most ads work, Kraft paid the advertiser — the academy — an undisclosed amount to place the logo.