Sunday, February 10, 2008

Health Check Technical Advisor Doesn't Recommend Health Check

Maybe I'm reading into this, but I don't think so.

Fran Berkoff is a nutrition columnist for the Toronto Sun and Canadian Living. She's the author of Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal and she's a member of the 7 person Technical Advisory Committee for the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check program.

Today in her nutrition column for the Toronto Sun she wrote a piece for Heart Month entitled, "All the Right Foods your Heart Desires". Heart Month, in case you forgot, is the Heart and Stroke Foundation's largest grassroots fundraising initiative.

Sounds like a perfect fit for a Health Check plug, and clearly Fran's not afraid to plug things as in the article she plugs Kellogg's All Bran Guardian cereal (Fran's worked for Kellogg's on multiple initiatives in the past) and Canada's Food Guide.

So in this nutrition column about foods that are Heart Healthy, written in the midst of Heart Month - the Heart and Stroke Foundation's major fundraising initiative, written by one of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check technical advisors, an advisor who is clearly comfortable promoting corporate programs and products, I think it's rather telling that she does not recommend that folks seek out the Health Check in making their product choices!

Can't say that I blame her.

[FYI: Kellogg's All Bran Guardian cereal's second ingredient is sugar. It contains over 83% the sugar of fruit loops (10 times the sugar of Cheerios), almost 50% more sodium than fruit loops, and like fruit loops it's also made with BHT, the food additive the CSPI recommended we ought to avoid if at all possible. Why am I not surprised that this particular product has a Health Check?]