Jason’s recent article featured in Fresh Magazine about the irony of food companies insistence on linking their products to ‘healthy’ activities.
THE MILKY BARS ARE ON YOU!
It is safe to say that very little on the BIG FOOD front surprises me anymore. Be that as it may, even I was taken back when I read that NESTLE had joined a Government campaign to combat obesity. If that wasn’t unbelievable enough, they are even using the Change4Life logo on a website linked to its own Get Set, Go Free promotion. Change4Life was another monumental waste of our taxpayers’ money, £75 MILLION to be exact. For a company who sells Kit Kats, Smarties and Milky Bars, to use the logo designed to help people ‘Eat Well – Move More – Live Longer’, is nothing short of criminal.
Some of Nestle’s ‘foods’ are to carry tokens offering ‘points’ towards free activities such as swimming and horse riding. To me, this is like a tobacco firm giving tokens on their packets for people to get ‘free’ use of oxygen machines. Initially, you may think, ‘at least they are trying to do some good in countering the possible ill effects their products could have on some, such as obesity’. However, a family of four would need to buy 60 Kit Kats to qualify for a canoe session. This sort of ‘reward’ scheme is flawed on so many levels, none more so than encouraging people to buy and eat even more highly sugared confectionary. I have no objection as such to honest food. What I mean is, if a fast food company used an advertising slogan such as:
“Yes we sell junk food and yes too much will make you fat and ill. But my God,our burgers taste great and a little of what you fancy does you good”
I would semi respect that. What I detest, and I do feel is criminal, is the pretence that in some way these BIG JUNK FOOD companies want to help with the nations obesity crisis. They simply wish to sell more products – that’s it and that’s all.
The Health Department have admitted Nestle should not have been given permission to use the Change4Life logo on its website. They said, ‘an error’ had been made. But who on earth made this error? Who in their right mind at the Department Of Health gave the nod for Nestle, of all people, to add a trusted ‘campaign for health logo’ on their website? A logo, which £75 Million of your tax payers’ money was allocated to by the last government? Someone, and I am looking into finding out exactly which civil servant gave this permission, told one of the biggest users of refined sugar in the world that they are “Okay” to use this trusted logo and it’s “Okay” for them to run this ludicrous campaign.
24 out of 27 products in the Nestle promotion are categorised as ‘high in sugar’ by the Food Standards Agency. Yet the FSA still allows campaigns like this to go ahead. This is not the first time a company like Nestle have used tokens in exchange for sporting activities, the ‘Get Active’ campaign run by Cadbury – which I highlighted in my book, ‘The Simple Way To Stop Eating Chocolate’ – was much the same.
Luckily, I feel most people are getting wise to this type of marketing and will not fall for it. However, there will be those who do, and if you are one of them, it will take a lot of canoeing to burn off your Milky Bars. And remember, until you do manage to burn them off, the Milky Bars will be very much and very literally on you!