Time to celebrate a public health win!
This past January, public health advocate and friend to Dietitians For Professional Integrity Nancy Huehnergarth wrote a terrific post on how Gatorade — owned by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics partner PepsiCo — launched a campaign branding water as “the enemy” of athletic performance.
Now, an update:
- “Soon after I wrote about this for Civil Eats, virtually all information about the Gatorade Bolt! game app disappeared from the Internet. I then sent a letter of complaint about the game’s messaging to Schneiderman’s office in the hopes that he would respond to the campaign.”
- Late this summer, Schneiderman’s office entered into an agreement with Gatorade and PepsiCo “with respect to Gatorade’s marketing and promotion of its Gatorade Bolt! App.” I requested a copy of the letter of agreement, which reads: “The Attorney General believes that the Bolt! App, which was promoted in social media outlets by professional athletes, including the Olympic athlete Usain Bolt, was misleading in a number of ways, particularly to children and adolescents. The Attorney General believes that the marketing of the App and the App itself created the misleading impression that (a) drinking water will hinder and/or adversely affect athletic performance; (b) drinking water is to be avoided in favor of drinking Gatorade; (c) athletes drink Gatorade and avoid water consumption; and (d) water consumption in general should be avoided.”
- While PepsiCo and Gatorade have neither admitted nor denied any of the allegations, the companies agreed to no longer make the Bolt! app available for download. In the future, the company says it will not make any other app or electronic game that disparages water.”
Great work, Nancy!