Kellogg to Shift Nutrition Standards, Marketing

Cereal giant Kellogg has announced new worldwide marketing standards, saying it would no longer produce ads aimed at children for products that fail to meet certain nutritional criteria.

“The initiatives we’re announcing today set a new standard of responsibility and are consistent with our 100-plus year heritage, further strengthening our commitment to helping consumers make informed food choices,” said David Mackay, Kellogg’s president and chief executive officer.

The new nutrient criteria starting in 2008 set an upper limit per serving of 200 calories, and a maximum of two grams of saturated fat.

It also would call for no transfats, which are linked to arterial illnesses, and limits on sugar and sodium per serving.

“The nutrient criteria Kellogg has adopted are based on a broad review of scientific reports and experts,” said James Hill, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, in the statement from Kellogg.

The move comes as US food companies and restaurant operators are trying to improve nutritional standards and combat a growing obesity problem.

It was applauded by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, which said they would drop a lawsuit against the company.

“By committing to these nutrition standards and marketing reforms, Kellogg has vaulted over the rest of the food industry,” said CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson.

“As a practical matter, this commitment means that parents will find it a little easier to steer their children toward healthy food choices – especially if other food manufacturers and broadcasters follow Kellogg’s lead.”

The groups said Kellogg agreed that foods advertised on television, radio, print, on the internet that have an audience of 50 percent or more children under age 12 would have to meet Kellogg’s new nutrition standards.

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