CHOICE criticises Nestle over MILO fitness trackers

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 7th December 2016

Consumer advocacy group, CHOICE, has struck out at Nestle Australia for offering fitness trackers alongside tins of Milo, which CHOICE says is 46 per cent sugar.

CHOICE says offering the fitness trackers alongside Milo makes the beverage seem like a healthier option than it actually is.

“With Christmas just weeks away and many parents madly searching for stocking fillers, fitness trackers might seem like a great gift but it’s worth standing back and asking why these companies are so keen to push them,” said CHOICE journalist Kate Browne.

“The sad fact is junk food companies love to sell the message that you can simply outrun bad eating habits if you exercise enough. They also ‘health wash’ poor products by talking about energy instead of sugar,” Browne stated.

CHOICE said that Nestle’s Milo fitness ‘champion band’ was aimed at children aged 6-12 years and is a demonstration of the “lengths junk food companies will go to load kids up with sugar”.

In October 2016, CHOICE gave Nestle a Shonky Award for giving Milo a 4.5 Health Star Rating. CHOICE said Milo only has a 4.5 Health Star rating when made up with skim milk, if made with full-cream milk it receives a 2.5 star rating.

Nestle defends its fitness tracker

In response to CHOICE’s criticism, Nestle Australia said the Milo Champions band is an affordable tracker designed for children, backed by an app with separate portals for the child and their parent.

“At a time when most kids aren’t getting enough physical activity, it’s disappointing to be shamed for a product that’s successfully getting kids more active,” Nestle Australia said.

“Not only have 85% of parents told us that their child has become more active since wearing the band, but app data shows the impact lasts – on average, the number of steps a MILO Champions Band wearer takes increases as they continue to wear the band (Over a four month period),” Nestle stated.

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