Sometimes the news just makes you want to smack yourself in the forehead and give up hope for humanity. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (), recently announced that Kraft Singles received the “Kids Eat Right” label to help parents select better foods for their children is one such piece of news.
It should be noted that the academy and Kraft are in a three-year collaboration with each other to help promote healthy eating in kids, as reported by the NY Times. The executive director of the academy, Mary Beth Whalen, continued her support of the controversial label practices by stating that “the logo on Kraft Singles packaging identifies the brand as a proud supporter” of her organization, denying that it was not simply an endorsement.
However, a comment from a Kraft spokesperson said that this was the first endorsement from the academy.
The argument behind the academy, which represents 75,000 registered dietitians, is that putting the label on a popular food like Kraft Singles will draw attention to their cause. This isn’t the first time that this specific organization has landed itself in hot water in regards to sleeping with the big food industry. It has previously been reported that at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ annual meetings, education on salt intake has been provided by Frito-Lay, and that a company that makes high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was encouraging the attendees to question the reported relationship between HFCS and diabetes.
All these issues surrounding one of the biggest organizations that claims to represent a large number of health professionals in the United States displays the further need for forward thinking and critical thought. Label marketing is a powerful tool and the best marketed products often end up in your home, but if a little investigation reveals such corporate affairs like Kraft and the academy, it should seriously make you reconsider what a label actually means.