This lecture, presented by Town Hall Seattle and sponsored by PCC Community Markets, is titled “Ask Marion: The Politics of Food and Nutrition.” It’s at 7:30 pm Seattle time and 10:30 pm New York time. Get tickets here.
Not-so-smart snacks for kids
I am ever indebted to Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, the Canadian obesity specialist, for keeping a sharp eye out for the more amazing ways food companies push junk foods.
Check out his Weighty Matters blog. This particular post describes the “Smart Snacks” for kids endorsed by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association in partnership with the Clinton Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Check out Freedhoff’s selection of “Smart” items drawn from Amazon’s more complete list of Alliance-endorsed items. Here is his first example (but don’t miss the others):
These are all junk foods tweaked to make them slightly less junky, thereby raising the questions I always like to ask in these situations: Is a slightly better-for-you product necessarily a good choice?
I’ve written about the Alliance’s partnerships previously. As Freedhoff explains,
In case you’re not familiar with it, the Alliance For A Healthier Generations is the name given to the partnership program founded between the American Heart Association, The Clinton Foundation, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with pretty what at first glance looks like pretty much every food industry corporation on earth…[this] is a partnership with the food industry whose job is to promote sales, not to protect health.
How is it possible that the American Heart Association, The Clinton Foundation, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation would describe a child washing down a bag of Doritos or a Pop-Tart with a can of Diet Coke as them consuming a Smart Snack?
The American Heart Association should not be a participant in this Alliance. The “Smart Snacks” program’s endorsement by the Alliance covers these particular products but, by extension, the rest of those companies’ products—and the companies that make them.