February 17, 2009

A Problematic Solution

Although Kraft's self-created Sensible Solutions sticker (used to denote healthy products) can point consumers in the right direction (like with 100% whole grain Triscuit crackers), it is also used in some questionable manners.

One example? Lunchables Maxed Out Pepperoni Pizza.

This item boasts a "Sensible Solutions" sticker on the basis of being "a good source of protein" and "a good source of calcium."

The latter nutritional claim is valid, but the first one is irrelevant in a country where protein deficiency is practically unheard of.

The average child's lunchbox may be low in fiber and potassium, but with protein being found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, dairy, soy products, meats, and even vegetables, I don't think parents need to start scouting supermarket aisles for high-protein foods.

What truly puzzles me, though, is the presence of a Sensible Solutions sticker on a product that contains 850 milligrams of a sodium (a third of a day's worth), 35 grams of added sugar (thanks to the inclusion of an Airhead candy and a Kool Aid flavor pouch meant to be mixed with the included bottle of water) and a paltry two grams of fiber!

This is the problem with self-defined corporate criteria -- no one is overseeing the rubric to ensure it only pertains to healthier options.

My suggestion? Set up these criteria so that, in order to carry a Sensible Solutions sticker, a product needs to have at least 'x' amount of nutrient "A" while simultaneously limiting nutrient 'B' to 'y' amount.

Otherwise, as I saw for myself at the grocery store yesterday, KoolAid can carry a Sensible Solutions sticker simply because it is fortified with vitamin A and vitamin E!

Right, because nothing says "sensible" like 16 grams (4 teaspoons) of added sugar per 8-ounce serving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I get the Daily Candy newsletter every day in my email, and today's included an advertisement on Sensa. Have you heard about this? What are your thoughts? I've copied the email body below.
"...Try sprinkling off those unwanted lbs with just a few shakes of Sensa™ on everything you eat. Maybe you’ve seen Extra host Dayna Devon talk about how she lost weight with it or perhaps you read about it in Time magazine.

In case you missed it, here are the deets: Invented by a neurologist, Sensa uses scents to stimulate the part of your brain that tells your body it’s time to stop eating — without changing the taste of your food. There are no pills; no exercise regimens; and no stressing over calories, carbs, or points, so you can lose the weight and keep your sanity.
Average weight loss over six months was 30.5 pounds! And Sensa even comes with a 30-day guarantee. ..."