Conflicts of InterestFood CompaniesPublic Health

Nestle and Change4life

Well done to the Children’s Food Campaign for spotting Nestle using the change4life logo as part of a promotion to get people to eat more confectionery and sugary cereal. Is there no limit to the depth to which processed food companies will stoop?

Nestle have started a campaign whereby people collect tokens from their processed foods and can then trade these in for activities. Let’s make it look as if we are trying to help get people active eh? Processed food companies love to tell us we are fine eating processed food (they always add as part of a balanced, healthy diet which is a joke) so long as we are active and ‘burn it off’.

So let us look at an example of what this promotion could do for a 10 stone person’s health. Let us say that our average person (Sam) wants to have a horse riding lesson. I don’t know if 90 points earns 30 mins or a 60 min lesson – let’s be generous and say 60 mins. Sam would use up 165 calories in an hour’s horse riding (assuming the horse was walking all the time).

We also need to realise that calorie burn calculators include the basal metabolic needs as part of the calculation. Hence we have to factor in what Sam may have been doing otherwise and then the horse riding only helps with the calories on top of this. If Sam would have been watching TV, s/he would have burned 64 calories, so the hour’s horse riding lesson only uses up an ‘extra’ 100 calories.

To earn this exercise extravaganza Sam needs to collect 90 points. A 233 calorie Kit Kat is 5 points. a 375g box of Golden Nuggets cereal is 15 points. The latter is a whopping 1,412 calories. Hence Sam needs to consume (or give to some other unlucky person) 18 Kit Kats or 6 boxes of Golden Nuggets to earn the horse riding lesson. The 18 Kit Kats deliver 4,194 calories and the cereal delivers 8,475.

What a brilliant idea Nestle to contribute to The Obesity Epidemic even further. I’d like to ask the Nestle people behind this campaign to increase their profits at the expense of the health of their fellow humans – how do you sleep at night?

5 thoughts on “Nestle and Change4life

  • The 80s Nestle formula scandal is not over. It is still going on and still being aggressively promoted in some countries. There are no depths to which this company will not stoop.

  • Why am I not surprised Nestle has jumped on the “health” bandwagon in order to promote their own products. I remember the 1980s scandal of using salesmen in white coats to promote their baby formula to third world customers, ensuring women that it was more hygenic than breastmilk!

    Thank you for your contribution to this groundswell of knowledge that dares to refute the current mindset on what we should and shouldn’t be eating. My eyes were opened when I came across Gary Taubes book and I haven’t stopped scouring bookshops and the internet for more of the same. Three cheers for you. I shall be ordering your book immediately.



  • Hi

    Just discovered your website and want to say how refreshing it is to read an approach that runs counter to the received wisdom. The above is typical propaganda – one should expect nothing less heinous from business be it big food or big pharma. The sad thing is that so many people are taken in. Look how many are ever so glad that they are taking statins to reduce cholesterol!

    Please keep up the good work – and yes, I have just ordered one of your books – a few pounds off in an effective manner would not go amiss.


    Dave G

    • Hi there – many thanks for your lovely note. A few pounds should go quicker and easier than you could possibly imagine! Amazing what happens when we only eat food – real food!
      Very best wishes – Zoe

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