A survey of the impact of marketing on children's taste preferences has revealed the power of McDonald's. Sixty-three preschoolers from low-income families in California were presented with five samples of identical foods and beverages, one in McDonald's packaging and the other in unbranded packaging. They were then asked "to indicate if they tasted the same or if one tasted better." The results?


Alli Oops! A Real Mess for Drug Campaign

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has launched a $150 million promotion campaign for its over-the-counter (OTC) weight loss drug, Alli. But not all media coverage is up-beat about what is a lower-dose version of Roche's prescription only drug, Xenical.


McDonald's Wants in the "Mom-to-Mom Dialogue"

PR Week has more on McDonald's "moms' quality correspondence" PR campaign. The fast food giant met with the six mothers in early June, "at the company's global headquarters in Oak Brook, IL. Future interactions will include a visit to a beef supplier in August and a 'farm field' and produce supplier in September. ...


Medical Journal In Double Bubble with Apparent Beverage Industry Conflict

In its current issue, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition acknowledges that a review of soft drinks and obesity (which challenges links between the one and the other) was funded by the American Beverage Association. But the journal excludes information that one of the authors personally and professionally has had close ties to the beverage industry.


Weight-Loss Drug Told to Lose the Advertising

The Australian government's drug regulator has revoked Roche's permission to advertise its weight-loss drug, Xenical. It was originally approved as a prescription-only drug for those rating over 30 on the Body Mass Index (BMI), or 27 if other health conditions were present.


Appetite for Profit: An Interview with Michele Simon

Appetite for Profit book coverIn December 2006, I interviewed author Michele Simon about her book, "Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines our Health and How to Fight Back." The excerpts below are from that original interview, which took place on WORT, community radio in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information on Michele and her work, please visit her website.

Judith Siers-Poisson (JSP): How did you personally become so involved and interested in food politics?

Michele Simon (MS): It started about 10 years ago when I was struggling with my own weight and turned to a vegetarian diet and, lo and behold, I lost the weight I was struggling with. And then, from there, I started to learn all of the other ways our diet impacts our own health, in addition to the environment, animal welfare, and labor, and so many aspects of society -- I was just amazed at how much was impacted by those food choices.

Coke Cans Weber Shandwick, Cries over Spilt Milk

got milk? logoThe Coca-Cola Company has terminated a 15-year long working relationship with the global PR firm Weber Shandwick. The makers of Coke objected to the PR firm helping run a campaign for the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP), a project funded by dairy companies.


President Calls on America to "Cope" With Child Obesity

President Bush described child obesity as "a costly problem for the country" and called for strategies to "help folks...cope with the issue" as he met with executives from McDonald's, Kraft, PepsiCo and other companies that market food products to children.


Four Years Later, McDonald's Again Nixes Trans Fats

Four years ago, McDonald's voluntarily announced that it would cut artery-clogging trans fats, the ingredient listed as "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" that is used to cook french fries and many other products throughout the fast food industry.



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