The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a study which concluded that “despite industry promises to avoid deceptive and inappropriate advertising to children, cereal companies promote unhealthy products to children using messages and images that exploit their imaginations and mislead them about the characteristics of a product.”
- “The study found that despite pledges to not exploit children’s imaginations, 91% of the ads for sugary cereal viewed by children associated cereals with adventures or emotional appeals, depicting the product as a plaything providing entertainment and fun, rather than a source of nutrition and sustenance.”
- “In addition, despite promises not to mislead children about the benefits of using a product, researchers found that 59% of the ads did just that by, for example, associating the product with having fun or being cool and popular.”
- Two of the largest peddlers of sugary “children’s” cereals? Kellogg’s and General Mills; both of which are partners of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
We once again point out how, unhealthy product portfolios aside, many of the Academy’s partners have received justified criticism from public health organizations. Why is the Academy not joining these voices?