Monday, July 6, 2015

Multi-Grain Cheerios #StopDietainment Campaign: Positive?

62/365 - On A Diet
Credit: Helga Weber / Flickr 
I was really glad to see a commercial for Multi-Grain Cheerios' anti-dieting campaign on TV.

We are bombarded with messages in the media about losing weight, getting that toned tummy, getting "bikini ready." You are not good enough and your value is defined by your appearance and your ability to conform to society's expectations. Thin is in and anything else is out.

I think this campaign does a great job of highlighting the impact this has on young girls' self-esteem.

I've signed the petition to be sent to media companies and I urge you to as well. It just takes a moment. As of right now, there are 6,205 signatures and the goal is 10, 000. We can get there!

I do have a concern, though. In my mind, if a company campaigns for a health issue, physical or mental, the message to consumers is that health is important to this company and this can create a perception that their product is healthy. This message and marketing goal would be consistent with what I would say is Multi-Grain Cheerios' marketing of the cereal as a healthy food.

But is it really healthy? I couldn't find nutritional information on this from the Cheerios' website, but I discovered this Twitter exchange with anti-healthwashing advocate Dr. Yoni Freedhoff while browsing the campaign hashtag #StopDietainment.
I Googled him and Multi Grain Cheerios and found this post from 2011.
"Why did Multigrain Cheerios score lower on the Stars? Probably in part due to the extra nearly 1.5 teaspoons of added sugar per bowl." 
This post is four years old and I don't know what Whole Grain Cheerios' (added) sugar content currently is or if the current daily value of its sugar and other components are healthy as part of a balanced diet.

Does this anti-dieting campaign make you think of Whole-Grain Cheerios as a healthy food and if so, do you feel this is appropriate? Let me know what you think in the comments or Tweet my handle @cartooninperson.


  1. I think it is definitely designed to make you think they are healthy whether they are or aren't. "We care about health so why would OUR product NOT be healthy?" -- either way they are still probably better for you than Fruit Loops but not as "healthy" is pure BRAN cereal haha... All that aside they are still spreading a good message; society has unrealistic expectations of beauty and the media pound it into young girl's head so much that they try anything and everything (often in a NON-healthy fashion) to achieve what the media portrays as "the only way people will like you". Sad...

    1. Sorry for all the spelling errors :p

    2. Great point, Matt. It wouldn't make sense for a company to do something inconsistent with its brand. And I'm so with you on the media pressure. It's very sad. Everything fosters insecurity.

  2. Are there good cereals? I know I eat a lot of stuff that's bad for me. I'm drinking something right now that is bad for me.

    I wish we did more to show girls they can't aim to look photoshopped.

    1. Interesting, Katy. I'm not sure if there are "good" cereals! I think the real trouble is that a lot of people don't know that something is "bad" or don't have the health literacy and critical thinking skills to make that determination. That's why I think ethical food marketing is SO critically important.

      Yes! And you know, I'd love to blog more about campaigns or just regular ads that are inclusive and healthy, but I've found them hard to come by. It's so sad. I think this may be changing, though. Consumers and activists are demanding better.

  3. I just went back through my old blog list on blogger and found your blog!! I used to follow it, but I guess I lost in it the switch to Feedly!! I hope you're doing well! I look forward to catching up on everything. :)