Kellogg’s: Acting responsibly, or seizing marketing opportunity?

Kellogg’s is adding vitamin D to many of its kid’s breakfast cereal lines in response to deepening concerns about the rise in number of cases of rickets in British children

New research conducted for the company shows that 94 per cent of paediatric dietitians feel that parents aren’t aware of the importance of vitamin D in the diet.

A further 82 per cent of paediatric dietitians surveyed have seen an increase in cases of Rickets in the last five years and 46 per cent say they have seen cases of Rickets in the last year alone.

Alyson Greenhalgh-Ball, European nutrition director at Kellogg’s said: “What’s worrying is that Rickets is the extreme end of the scale and many more children will be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency which can lead to other health problems.

“It’s important the government takes this issue seriously and recognises the need for parents to be better informed about the risks of vitamin D deficiency.”

Kellogg’s point s out that is has a “long history of fortifying its cereal of with essential vitamins”. Folic acid was added to the company’s cereals in the 1980s to address the problem of neural tube defects

But some commentators and bloggers have questioned the cereal giant’s motives, suggesting the vitamin D development is less to do with acting responsibly, and more about seizing a marketing opportunity

In a lively discussion on the Daily Mail bulletin board, one contributor wrote: “We are talking here of trash food devoid of any healthy nutritional value, that is devoid of minerals, vitamins and protein. In addition they are all high glycemic foods leading to insulin levels peaks and causing excess fat and furry arteries. No wonder these cereals are ‘fortified’ with a few of many ‘essential’ vitamins plus sugar to add to its attraction and childrens sweet taste buds. Adding D gives the totally false impression unhealthy cereals are actually healthy.”