Friday, March 11, 2011

Forget Chocolate Milk-Try Coke as a Healthy Snack Option!

As a blogger, I get pitches now and then and some, I've complained about. A few are just plain annoying, like when a certain big name company who already gets a portion of my cash every month wanted me to write about them for free, or another pitched me baby products and seemed confused by the fact that I have a teenager.

Few ever provide fodder for Food Revolution Friday, and so the one I received yesterday wins the prize as the very first. Titled "Interview Opp: Balanced Diet Tricks and Tips", I expected perhaps some health product or a book of some sort.

Nope. Instead, it chirped happily about my wonderful opportunity to score an interview with a media personality and host of a television show aimed at Moms, while she talked about maintaining a healthy diet for Moms and their children.

And then I got to the line that made my jaw hit the floor.

"L will mention the launch of the new Coca Cola mini can (a smaller-sized, 100-calorie can) as one snack idea. This portion size option gives consumers power to choose the beverage size that best meets their dietary and lifestyle needs. Dietary experts say that controlling portion sizes and subsequent calorie intake is important to maintaining a balanced lifestyle. L of course has plenty of other suggestions that she can share with your readers which will perfectly compliment the subject of busy Moms and how they can ensure that their kids, and themselves, have a balanced diet. "

Wait a minute. Did that just say that she was going to suggest a mini can of COKE as a SNACK idea for KIDS?



COKE. As in, the drink with the following ingredients: Carbonated water, sugar (sucrose or high fructose corn syrup), phosphoric acid v. caramel, and natural flavorings. Also, 12 oz of Coke contains 46 mg of caffeine per 12 fluid oz/355 ml, and approximately 10 tsp of sugar.

The press release then had a bunch of information about Coke and their new mini can launch, complete with some quotes from the media personality as she chats about what a great snack idea it is.

I believe the perfectly portioned Coca-Cola mini can is a great way to manage a healthy lifestyle,” and then, As the primary shopper in our family, I love having choices when it comes to choosing beverages for a variety of occasions. Coca-Cola’s new 100-calorie mini can is perfect for those moments when you and your family want a refreshing option in a smaller size that doesn’t compromise on taste.”

Look, I have nothing against Coke but let's just call it for what it is-a sugary, caffeine filled drink that kids don't need and probably shouldn't have, except on very rare occasion. Part of a healthy lifestyle? Are you kidding me? On what planet is Coke part of a healthy lifestyle?

This was my response:

Thank you for your interest in Notes from the Cookie Jar. I must admit I'm appalled by the idea that Coke mini cans are being pitched in a press release about an interview with someone as a healthy lifestyle choice. Coke is full of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, and is not (in my opinion) a healthy choice by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I do not believe that children need soda of any kind in their diets (whether by 100 calorie can or not). For Mrs. G to be suggesting this is completely ridiculous. Children need to be hydrating with water or plain milk, not sugary substances filled with artificial flavors, preservatives, and caffeine.

I cannot endorse, support, or write about someone who is suggesting that mini cans of Coke are part of a healthy lifestyle for children, no matter what the size is.

Thank you,
Karen Humphrey

My pitch policy is here for future reference.

I am sure most of you are wondering who this person is so that you can ask them, but I plan to stay mum on their identity because attention, even if it is negative, is still attention. I'm hoping that perhaps their message is actually better than the press release made them sound, because my goodness, that pitch made them look like a complete and utter fool.

What do you think?

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