On the heels of yesterday's post, Kellogg's announced today that they are setting a new standard of responsibility in my beloved cereal aisle. The commitment is two-pronged: 1) more careful in the way that they market to children, and 2) front-of-the-box nutritional information.
Never underestimate the power of litigation. Some will argue that parents' suing McDonald's or Kellogg's for a child's obesity is ridiculous. Maybe. But, a little fear of the law and some good muckraking journalism can go a long way. Look at the changes McDonald's and Wendy's have made since the book Fast Food Nation (2002) and the documentary Supersize Me (2004) hit the scene. Those events coupled with a few attempts to sue McDonald's for contributing to obesity and subsequent health problems have created at least a gentle wind of change (cue The Scorpions).
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act in 2004 (also known as the "Cheeseburger Bill"), but it did not receive a Senate vote. Most of these lawsuits against McDonald's and other fast food corporations have been turned down by the courts. But, the bad press and attention have shed light on a lot of the evils and poor nutrition of fast food, and that has prompted at least a minor shift in marketing and food options.