'GMA' Cereal Report Continues Crusade against Food

"Good Morning America" is at it again. The ABC program waged another battle against food companies Oct. 26 by focusing on an "eye-popping report" about cereal marketed to children.

Dan Harris introduced the segment saying, "This really is a scathing report. Not only does it accuse the food companies of pushing the least nutritious cereals to kids, but it also says the companies' promises to police themselves are hollow. What's more the study authors say they have proof for parents that kids will eat unsweetened cereals if they're offered."

But his two minute 58 second segment devoted a meager 21 seconds to defending cereal makers, and never mentioned the role of parental responsibility.

Harris complained that the Yale study from Kelly Brownell found the "average preschooler sees 642 cereal ads a year, the vast majority of them for sugary cereals: a marketing tsunami that is exacerbating the nation's childhood obesity epidemic."

Brownell told Harris that is a problem and that "there are ways to train kids to eat healthier foods. It's all about what they're exposed to."

But neither Brownell, nor Harris mentioned the role of parents and other caretakers in allowing children to watch television or to decide which cereals to purchase for children.

Harris did include one corporate defender in the story: Elaine Kolish, VP of Childrens' Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. The ABC reporter put her on defense asking her to "explain to me how [these cereals can be called ‘better for you'] that works, because it seems to me that there is actually nothing worse for you."

Kolish replied that cereals "advertised in our program are low in calories and provide and important source of these nutrients for kids' diet."

"Good Morning America" has been attacking various food products throughout October, hyping a study from the radically left-wing food police group CSPI on Oct. 6 and turning to them again Oct. 21 to criticize food labels. On Oct. 23, the program attacked hamburgers for their carbon footprint.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.