September 4th, 2013
Second Opinion: Swallowing it
A FEW YEARS ago, Kellogg Co. embarked on an ad campaign to convince parents that eating Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal would make star students of their children, with higher levels of attention and memory. “Clinical studies” showed that a breakfast of the cereal improved children’s attentiveness by “nearly 20 percent,” the ads said.
There are studies, and then there are studies. This one, sponsored by Kellogg itself, compared children who ate its cereal with those who ate no breakfast at all. So, it was misleading. What’s more, as the Federal Trade Commission noted, the study’s findings were misused in the ads.