News outlets were quick to question how Kraft Singles, a processed cheese product, earned the first "Kids Eat Right" label from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The label that appeared on the front of the package of the Kraft Singles just a week or so ago made it look like the product was recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as part of its Eat Right program.
If you look closely at the blue words on the blue background that are above the colorful “Kids Eat Right” logo, it says “proud supporter of.” Kraft is supporting the program with financial backing. In reality, the academy did not come out and say it endorses Kraft Singles. But it certainly could be argued that by allowing the logo on the product, an endorsement is implied.
It’s easy to believe that Kraft’s marketing team hoped consumers would infer that a group of nutritionists and dieticians was endorsing Singles as a healthy choice for kids. The individual members of that group saw that as a real possibility, and according to The New York Times, the “organization faced a mutiny among some of the 75,000 registered dietitians and other food professionals who are its members.” They were outraged that the academy would “lend its imprimatur to a highly processed food.”
Their outrage is understandable. That “Kids Eat Right” logo might keep parents from turning over the Kraft Singles package to read the actual nutrition facts. FDA research found that when people saw health claims on front-of-package labeling, they were less likely to find the nutrition facts label and make up their own mind about the soundness of the product's nutrition.
In response to the media coverage and the outrage of the academy's members, the academy and Kraft are working to make sure the "Kids Eat Right" logo will disappear as soon as possible from Kraft Singles. Since some of the packages are already on shelves, it will take some time for the labels to disappear completely.
This will not end the relationship between Kraft and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Kraft still plans to help educate parents about the “importance of calcium and vitamin D in children’s diets” through the "Kids Eat Right" campaign.
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