Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kellog's Cereal, Misleading Advertisements, weight loss and body image

There is this bill board opposite my house, and most of the hoardings on it always awaken the rebel in me. For a reason. First it was some hospital advertising some heart surgery. Then it was as assisted coneption centre and now the kellogs-k wedding season  ad. Have you seen this advertisement about how to look great this wedding season? This particular hoarding encouraging every woman stopping at the signal to take the Kellogs K challenge angered both the feminist in me and also the one who is painstakingly trying to get rid of that extra weight through a healthy diet and exercise.
Those of us trying to lose weight, or atleast I  struggle with problem foods (sweet foods and rice), portion control and body image problems. Even though I know I do look far thinner than before the fact that the weighing scale still shows a 78 just kills me. Everyday, I wake up, try to exercise as hard as I can, cook food that is fresh and healthy for my family and me and try to make better choices when I am offered biscuits and samosasat official meetings.
Only incidentally I had glanced upon this at the supremarket on Saturday. Please zoom in to get a better look:

On the left in my hand is a box of Organic Millet (ragi) Flakes by a brand called Beginnings. On the right is a box of  Kellog's Oat Bites, a product of the same guys who think weight loss is all about eating two bowls of the cereal two weeks in a row.
While I must admit to not being a technical nerd, alayman can see that the Kellog cereal has twice as much sugar and fat and only half the fibre as in the box on my left. The protein content is a bit higher in the Kellog's carton. But all we dieters know how the consumption of sugar leads to the consumption of even more sugar. Ofcourse, I do not advocate to cut out sugar or any other food group, I am only appalled at how these MNCs seem to get their way into the average Indian household and replace the wholesome Kanji Maav with their Sugary Highly Processed nonsense. Infact they even go as much to say that if you only ate their product for breakfast and lunch/ dinner for two weeks you will become attractive.
Seriously guys if you had a 200 calorie breakfast and 200 calorie lunch/ dinner along with a maintaining an exercise routine and a calorie restrictive diet to aid weight loss, ofcourse you will lose weight. Infact you will lose weight  no matter what you ate that cost you only 400 calories - breakfast and lunch put together.

On the other hand eating a high sugar cereal like this one is most likely not going to keep your hunger pangs at bay. Eating sugar causes your body to want more sugar and trust me it is very very difficult to control that craving. Instead filling up with healthy proteins, fibre filled veggies and complex carbs is likely to keep you filled up for longer and make your weight loss effort more sustainable.
Yes eating a cereal is a matter of convenience for many of us, and I certainly do buy a box or two of the cereal in my left hand in the picture above. I add sliced bananas or any other fruit, some chopped nuts and top it with milk to get a quick but healthy and filling breakfast. I do get hungry in about 2- 2 1/2 hours and I carry a salad like this:

thats grated carrots, fresh pomogranate, roasted peanuts, chopped coriander with a dash of salt, pepper and lime juice tempered with mutard seeds & urad dal

At the end of this post, I'd like to ask you dear reader for how many of you is weight loss as simple as just eating the same food out of a box for two weeks and seeing results at the end of it? Am I over reacting? Or do I have a point?

The opinions in this post are my own and based on my own experience, and not intended in a deragatory matter. No product referred to above paid me to express positive or negative views. Please treat this as without prejudice.



  1. U have a point!!! Simple fact is that they are misleading the consumers!! I remember reading a simlar post by anotehr writer wwho had stressed that there isn't much of a difference between atta maggie & normal maggie!!!

    The fact that we consumers trust big brands is being miused by them by playing with words!!!

  2. This special K ad bugged me too. So you are not alone. But the labels wow! I knew that these cornflakes and museli are not really all that healthy, with lots of sugar, but I never really analysed the labels. This is good info. Thanks.

    Also the husband couldn't find ragi flakes in b'lore, but came back with ragi vermicilli instead :) hehe. next time he'll try to find he said.

  3. Food for thought ... I am too amateur to comprehend the information in this post on the first read. Will try to analyze this.

  4. You are not at all overreacting.The special k thing bugs me too.In my opinion packaged food can never come any where near the food we make at home. I too stock on these cereals,those sugary chocolaty garbage. But they are meant to be put in very little quantities inside snack box for the kids.The best gift we can give our family is their health, and it makes me proud to know that I do my best to feed them healthy.

  5. The worst is they have come up to target the kids market too-So the kids are getting addicted to sugar cereal which makes me so mad too!

  6. I would like to add though that they are both going to make you fat and hungry and both should be avoided like the plague!

  7. I do agree with you. These days there are so many misleading advertisements. The sad part is that majority of the people start fall for it. Special K is a big box of nonsense!!


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