Children’s Health & Lucky Charms – Is This Good or Bad?

 

[wpfblike]

 

Children’s Health

Children’s Health, a new magazine as part of the "Men’s Health" brand,
will be released soon.

 

I’m interested.

 

Anxious.

 

Curious.

 

A new and improved trend or more of the same fluff?

 

It’s very easy to throw stones.

 

In fact, one of the biggest lessons my Dad ever taught me was about
that particular issue.

 

"It’s easier to throw a brick at a house than it is to build one yourself"

 

Dad’s words have always been a staple in my professional life.

 

So, without opinion, criticism or negative talk, I offer you this one
sentence.

 

It appeared in an article about the impending Children’s Healthrelease.

 

"… 15 pages of advertisements in the first 112-page issue. Seven
of those came from General Mills, selling children’s cereals like Lucky
Charms, with 11 grams of sugar per serving…"

 

So, what say you?

 

Respond from the gut.

 

Yes…. Of course I have my thoughts on the matter.

 

But I truly want to hear what you think.

 

Click below and tell me…

 

Youth Fitness Specialist – Level 1 Certification Course
Click Here to See to Hear What Our Graduates Have To Say

21 Responses

  1. Grant Hernden says:

    Same old crap. It is all about making money. No ethics here. I would rather read the information that you send out. At least I know that it comes from the heart and is credible.
    Grant

  2. Liz Donnelly says:

    Why am I not surprised by this news? Sadly, when you’re in business to make money instead of having a positive influence on peoples’ lives, then things like this happen. It’s obvious to me that Children’s Health does not include this in their mission or driving principles as just about anyone
    connected to nutrition quickly finds out that General Mills and other giant food processors are part of the cause of nutritional decline. Surely, that’s a loaded statement and the end-user has the ultimate control of his/her nutrition; however, when healthier choices are difficult for many people, and, heck, Boo Berry cereal just looks more appealing, then GM will have to take responsibility for poor nutrition. Now, beware, GM supporters will tell you that they also offer a line of healthier cereal for kids, for instance. Great, but why still hock the tooth-rotting, genetically-modified, dye-colored varieties? But don’t ask me, I only have three kids. 😉

  3. Mike Howard says:

    As antithetical as it sounds (promoting a message of children’s health with advertisements of products that can sabotage it) the reality is that this is where the money is. I don’t know that there are any organizations that have truly healthy products that have the budget to throw down 60k per page (I don’t know exactly what it costs but it’s freaking expensive).

    I think one of the issues is that big food has so much leverage that they’ve found ways to get seals of approval from certifying boards. It makes me chuckle that lucky charms and Count Chocula have health claims on their boxes. In the minds of the cereal companies (and perhaps this is the justification publishers will use) their products are “healthy” because they meet some manufactured standard for whole grain content. To loosely quote Michael Pollan “Boxes of count chocula scream to the rafters of their whole grain goodness while the fruits and vegetables reamain as quiet as stroke victims”.

    In short, yes, I have a problem with the contradictory message, but at the same time, it’s hard to escape.

  4. Monty says:

    Take home message…..

    The big boys are throwing big dollars into advertising to the kid population….

    ….there is a BIG, No HUGE market there!

    This signals a major opportunity for those who offer programs to this population!

    I don’t like the product that those like General Mills are selling but they understand
    their market, that is for sure.

    Monty Miller
    YFS I
    Wilmington NC

  5. Denise says:

    Similar to Men health with adds for body building suplements and weight loss pills, same of womans health every other page is a weight loss pill next to the “clean eating article”.
    I like mens health articles but I can’t keep it in the house due to the sexual content, my kids are 7 and 10.

  6. Brian, you’ve been saying it for a few years as a marketing tool to get us to invest in an IYCA certification: Youth fitness is a $4 billion a year business. Why would they not want a piece of the pie? And so now here we are talking about a larger company wanting in on it. They have to get money to produce the magazine and I’d be willing to be that General Mills, et al were literally throwing money at them to put an ad in the magazine.

    Unfortunately, this is how we operate. Look at Men’s Health magazine and all the other rag that’s out there. They are hocking crap after crap with a twist because they know people will buy it. Did we really expect anything different from the same people? I’m pretty sure that falls under the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

  7. Darin Carr says:

    Sadly, Brian, I believe these companies have been teamed up with the media/advertising agengies so long that they may actually believe that a breakfast of “whole grains” in a box with loads of sugar (“not as bad as other things”, they probably justify to themselves) is a great option for breakfast.

    I’m sure they’ve never spent hours and hours of their lives studing what makes up a healthy breakfast (although it’s pretty common since) and just bought in to what they’ve learned (via osmosis thru tv and colorful lables on cereal boxes) as to what a kid should eat in the morning…it’s just “what it is” with them. …and the whole money thing makes this a total sink for the cereal companies to get their brain-washing out to the masses once again.

    So, I’ll try not to judge them on their intentions (I don’t know if they are just blinded and think they’re doing something good, or actually do know better but don’t care because of the “bottom line”) but I can judge what they have done and the words that keeps coming to me are: disappointed and frustrated.

    If the US population got as many messages to eat our fruits and veggies as we have to slam down their cereals we’d probably be the most healthy, ripped people on the planet!

    Thanks for all you do,
    Darin

  8. Max Hoyt says:

    Should we really be surprised? We all know that a magazine’s business model is predicated on selling ad space that’s based on potential market penetration.

    It seems to me that the model will stay the same, it is the target that’s changed: Now it’s, “all about the kids”, which means it’s all about the ad rev that can be gained by offereing companies another demogrpahic to go after.

    It’s a shame though when you consider how many people take the articles/ads as “gospel” since it’s coming from a “health” magazine.

    But the real question becomes then: How do you get the right message out to the masses without having corporate sponsors bankroll your operation. If that one could be answered, then maybe the right message would get out without being diluted by the demands of the corporate sponsors.

    I agree with the above comment, the GM supporters will definitley point out they have a healthy line of cereals, but hmmm.. Which ones do YOU see being marketed in said magazine?
    Yeah, that’s what I thought….

    It tough not to be cynical, but on the other hand, think about your wn children and every parent/child you reach with your services and realize that you are helping many to avoid and reverse the pitfalls of these types of brand imprinting on our kids.

    I don’t know if it will ever go away, but there is a backlash to all of the issues surrounding obesity and we are in the perfect position to help the kids and throught them, the parents!

  9. B Righteous says:

    I’ve got 3 sons who have all grown-up on old-fashioned oatmeal, cinnamon, bananas, and low-fat milk for breakfast. Do you think I have ever bought “Lucky Charms,” “Count Chocula”, or “Diabetes-in-a-box?” The answer is heck no! Thus, would I feed their brains articles on fun exercises and the importance of eating organic grapes and then spoil it with “advertorials” about junk food cereals? Once again the answer is, “No,” because I’m already battling their mom, the mass media, and many more in the war against clean and simple healthy food where the weapons of mass destruction have already tainted our guts and now the target is our kids’ brains. The health of children, notice I did not say, “Children’s Health,” cannot be compromised or conflicted by preaching real health and then selling out to pretend health. This is way too cliche. But, instead of pointing a finger I will lend a hand. Maybe they could change the title of the magazine to, “Children’s Hell(th),” and then market a video game where a Leprechaun shoots golden-ladened sugar corn pops at a “whole grain” vampire killing him in his tracks and then floating over a carcinogenic colored rainbow of fruit flavors while screaming the chorus to a po(o)ppy hit single entitled, “They’re Grrrrreeeeaaattt!” Oh, and this exclusive offer is only available now for just 3 easy payments of $19.99 + s&h or with the proof of purchase of any General Mills Cereal product where the box itself has more fiber than the contents.

  10. Talayia says:

    You should check out http://www.pbs.org/teachers/media_lit/quiz.html and you will see how little or much you know about media literacy. Parents can teach their children how to analyze media messages to avoid being swayed into unhealthy behaviors.

  11. Anthony Munoz says:

    From the Gut, it starts with Mom and Dad.

  12. Dwayne G says:

    Hopefully this is an example of the “ends justifying the means” and the magazine will be filled with quality information to help parents and kids avoid the pratfalls of processed nutrition and teach them to search out healthier alternatives.

    At some point parents have to start hearing the message about healthier nutrition and active living. Hopefully, the magazine can further send the message to just get out there with your kids and be active and eat healthy.

    Let’s all hope it can reach even 10% of the people who read it and help them make better choices.

  13. Adrianne says:

    I just really hope this magazine is useful and the articles and information provided is scientific based. The last thing this industry needs is a poor representation of what Youth Fitness and Health is really about. Kids are getting obese and this next generation may be the generation where their parents outlive the child. That is disturbing. WHat will be more disturbing is a false magazine zoned at making money off this mass population instead of truly helping them.

  14. Unfortunately I suppose the magazine has to get paid, let’s hope it is choc full of useful, correct and useable advice and articles that will make a difference.

    In Australia different groups are up in arms at the moment about junk food being advertised on TV during children’s programming. Apparently there is 5 hours of junk food advertising during childrens programming in one week (not my figure) there are all kinds of protests etc going on, with huge pressue being put on the stations to bann the advertising.

    Can’t they see the simple solution?? It’s so easy and right there in front of their faces-TURN OFF THE TELLY!!!!!

    We will never stop all the advertising, but we have to take matters into our own hands. We must take responsibility for ourselves. We need to stop blaming everyone else for our own situation.

    Jo

  15. Lionel Martin says:

    I have nothing to add that has not all ready been said…..I would just love to take a blood sugar and insulin reading 30 minutes post ingestion and put that right after the adds….unfortunately that won’t happen… this is america….

  16. Dr. Kwame M Brown says:

    I’m not surprised either. I have seen this time and again. It doesn’t mean I’m still not outraged. We must understand the difference between lack of surprise and lack of indignation. Our familiarity with a recurring event should never dampen our resolve to change it.

    This practice is nothing but counterproductive, and one of my main reasons for finding the President’s Council laughable as an organization (for now at least).

    This is why organizations like the IYCA and programs like NIH’s Media Smart Youth (which teaches kids about the messages the media sends and how to fight back) are so important. We have to continue to get the messages out there even when corporate America and even our own government continue to fail us.

    Remember that every structure / type of society has it’s drawbacks. This is the potential drawback of unfettered capitalism. This is also where personal responsibility comes in as one of many factors involved in change. No one can sell anything to our children that parents choose not to buy.

  17. Peter Holmes says:

    My first thought is great job by GM grabbing 7 pages of ad space. My 2nd thought is who beat them out for the other 8 pages ; Nintendo, Hasbro, Gap?
    Children’s Health is trying to make a buck packaging information around product sales aimed at an audience of young consumers. Nothing new here.
    Who is the magazine written for, children or parents of children? If the latter, then the hypocrisy is laughable and the publisher should be ashamed of their actions – Taking money from advertisers whose product will have a marginal or negative effect on children’s health. However, if the magazine is written for children to read then there is no hypocrisy and just good marketing and part of a well thought out strategy.
    Don’t have to like it, don’t have to buy it and can fight back by cancelling subscriptions to the other magazines in the stable with a well thought out protest letter.
    Public opinion makes a difference.

  18. Guy McKim says:

    the need for education continues, readers need to become critical consumers, but money talks when it comes to buying ad space. great comments and observations from other readers. teach on!!!!

  19. Leslie Fiore says:

    Same old magazine ads. They say they are promoting health for children yet have ads that do not promote healthy eating. It is a lot about making money any way they can. No wonder we have an obesity problem in children and adults. But remember, as parents and fitness professionals we have to work harder to set the examples!!

  20. Tim Ward says:

    Brian, do you expect this magazine to ask you to write for them? If they did, would you do it?

  21. Perhaps they feel that because these cereals are “magically delicious” that somehow balances the fact they are completely lacking in substance. Childhood obesity isn’t a disease, it is the predictable side effect of humans tendency to overeat in a environment where food is so plentiful, palatable and already prepared. You can’t out run a donut or a whole bowl full of miniature one (cheerios!). Our kids need real food and their parents need to be able trust “experts” to give them legitimate healthy advice. These processed foods aren’t MAGICALLY bestowed with healthy properties just because they have a “heart healthy” sticker or a prominent place in a health magazine. Just like all magic tricks this is an illusion – but one for which the secrets need to be revealed – that is if we care about a healthy future for the children of today and the adults of tomorrow.

Leave a Reply

Comment using:
IYCA