I admit, I haven’t quite been posting regularly on the blog for the past few weeks … The blog may change format a slight bit over the next few months, as Laura just accepted a new job at Golin Harris and I’m getting ready to have my first baby any minute now … However, I am determined to keep the blog alive long-term. I WILL do it!
This past weekend, we saw CNBC’s special “Coca-Cola: The Real Story Behind The Real Thing.” While the special has been airing for a while now, we never cease to be amazed at the marketing prowess behind Coca-Cola.
If you haven’t seen the special yet, it provides a behind-the-scenes look at Coca-Cola’s race to find the next blockbuster beverages. The company employs a number of ingenious tactics to help boost sales, such as inventing high-tech fountain machines that allow you to customize your own soda and investing in little-known companies that tap into emerging trends.
While we were somewhat reassured to hear that health and sustainability are trends that Coca-Cola is investing in, we’re also mindful of the role that caloric beverages play in weight gain.
So as the nutrition community attempts to decrease the public’s consumption of caloric beverages — and Coca-Cola attempts to increase consumption and sales of beverages — who will win?
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) — the non-profit group that led the fight against trans fats — released a new report evaluating the efforts and policies of food and beverage manufacturers, chain restaurants, and entertainment companies that market food to children.
The report largely gave the 128 companies analyzed failing grades, primarily because so few companies actually have specific policies to guide their marketing efforts.
We couldn’t agree more that the food and entertainment industries need to step up their self-regulatory efforts to only promote to children foods and beverage that meet stringent and defined nutrition criteria.
But we also think that many of the companies deserve more praise than they’ve received. As nutrition communicators, we had the opportunity to work with Burger King Corporation in 2007-2008 in developing its policies limiting its food marketing to children efforts — and we were consistently impressed with the senior-level commitment, time and financial resources that the corporation dedicated to making positive changes in its marketing practices.
Sure, the food and entertainment industries have a long way to go. And we’re eager for them to get there. But we also think it’s important to give kudos for how far many companies have come over the past four years. We hope they keep it up.
We came across some interesting numbers today: A recent study found that more than 27 percent of calories in American kids’ diets come from snacks, many of which are desserts, sweetened beverages, salty snacks and candy.
The lead researchers said kids snack so often they’re eating almost constantly – an average of three snacks a day on top of three regular meals.
Snacks certainly can help give kids extra nutrients and keep blood sugar stable, but this is certainly a reminder to emphasize moderation.
An interesting article in the New York Times highlighted several recent studies that found what many of us observe on our own, sometimes with the help of our mothers: eating slower may lead to eating less (not to mention enjoying food more!).
This may be due several factors, especially hormones. When we allow more time for our food to digest, it appears to allow for the satiety and fullness hormones to kick in. Gobble food down and it takes longer for the hormones to register – often when we’re overfull.
By taking time to consciously eat and chew, say, 10-15 times with every bite, we not only enjoy our food more but give ourselves a chance to listen to our bodies and give them only as much food as we need. Bon appetit!