The campaign is the largest integrated marketing effort for Kellogg, including broadcast, print, digital and social media, said Doug VanDeVelde, the senior vice president for marketing and innovation at the Kellogg Company.
“We find there’s a lot of people who don’t have access to breakfast,” Mr. VanDeVelde said. “We just felt like as the breakfast leader, we should do something about that.”
To that end, Kellogg worked with the national nonprofit volunteer organization Action for Healthy Kids with the goal of donating a million breakfasts to underserved children for the 2011-12 school year.
Schools where at least 50 percent of the students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals will receive the breakfasts. The Kellogg Company will donate up to $200,000 toward the effort.
As of a week ago, more than 800 photos of breakfasts had been uploaded. About half the photos featured Kellogg products, while others were more daring inventions like a plate of fried eggs flanked by blueberries, accompanied by a few leaves of baby spinach surrounded by toast slathered with peanut butter and topped with banana slices.
First lady Michelle Obama recently has taken some heat from the likes of Sarah Palin and other conservatives who don't like the federal government telling people what they should or shouldn't eat. That, they say, is a perfect example of the "nanny state" at work. Kids should be able to choose cup cakes for lunch, rather than broccoli, if they want.
With a raging obesity epidemic already costing the country some $300 billion in weight-related medical treatment and lost productivity, others disagree with that assessment. In fact, a new poll finds that Americans by a margin of 57 percent to 39 percent margin believe that government should have a role in solving the obesity problem.
Blacks and Hispanics concur by overwhelming margins--74 percent and 83 percent, respectively.
Independents side with the mainstream. Fifty-seven percent of them also think government should be fighting obesity.
Who are these people who think government should stay out of the obesity conversation? That would be Republicans--57 percent--and especially conservative Republicans, 61 percent of whom side with Sarah Palin.
Voters who identify themselves as Tea Party members oppose government involvement by a margin of 65 percent.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press was conducted Feb. 22-March 1 among 1,504 adults.
While Pew finds a majority of Americans supporting the government playing a significant role in reducing obesity among children, the public does not view the fight against obesity as a major policy priority for the president and Congress.
In Pew Research’s annual policy priorities poll in January, just 19% rated dealing with obesity in this country as a top priority, the lowest among 22 items tested; nearly as many (14%) said it should not be done at all.
Finally, experienced parents know well enough not to take their kids into the cereal aisle at the supermarket. Here's why: A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine finds that children prefer the taste of cereal when the packaging features popular cartoon characters.
Conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the results are in line with recent research from Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, which also found that children were more likely to enjoy the taste of foods when they were branded with cartoon characters.
In this latest research, 80 children aged four to six were shown boxes of cereal branded equally as either ‘Healthy Bits’ or ‘Sugar Bits’, and half of each featured media characters. The children were asked to rate the taste of the cereal on a smiley face scale of one to five after sampling the cereal.
“Almost all children liked the cereal, but those who saw a popular media character on the box reported liking the cereal more than those who viewed a box without a character on it,” the researchers found.
In addition, children who were presented with the cereal branded as ‘Healthy Bits’ reported liking it more than those who were presented with the cereal named ‘Sugar Bits’. Children who were shown a box branded ‘Sugar Bits’ without cartoon characters reported liking the cereal significantly less than those in the other three groups. And there was no significant difference between children’s liking of the ‘Healthy Bits’ cereal whether or not the packaging featured a cartoon character.
“The results of this experiment provide evidence that the use of popular characters on food products affects children’s assessment of taste,” the authors wrote. “Messages encouraging healthy eating may resonate with young children, but the presence of licensed characters on packaging potentially overrides children’s assessments of nutritional merit.”
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