Friday, December 10, 2010

Special K Brand Launches Mobile App in U.S.

Kellogg's has done remarkably well at marketing their Special K challenge throughout North America, and now they've made it even easier to follow. With the launch of their new myPlan application for both android and iPhone platforms, perhaps more people will start whittling their waistlines while consuming Kellogg's products.

Just in time for the holidays and to help with New Year's resolutions, the myPlan application allows its users to follow the Special K diet wherever they are. The Special K diet in and of itself is nothing more than a system to help with calorie counting and portion control. The app, as well as the website, allows users to determine how many calories they need each day in order to achieve their desired weight goals, and then creates customized menus with recipes that they can whip up, all the while controlling their calories. Special K products, of course, are on the menu, accounting for breakfast (no surprise here as Special K is a cereal), snacks and potentially one other meal in the day, depending on the user's weight loss goals.

Special K products are low-fat or fat-free - but, at least in Canada -they are also low in key nutrients that are important for not only weight loss but also the prevention of chronic illness and immune support. Many Special K products, such as the classic rice cereal, are also higher on the Glycemic index, as they are made from refined grains and are metabolized very quickly by the body. With little protein or fibre and no fat to modulate the rate of metabolism in the digestive system, those carbs hit the bloodstream rapidly, followed by a marked insulin response. Not to mention the fact that many of the other cereal products and bars are quite high in sugar.

Despite the potential flaws that this 'diet' contains, I admit it is a useful starting point for many people who need to learn the basics of calorie counting and portion control. The primary goal for disease prevention is weight loss, so any way one can go about that is beneficial. Beyond that goal, the next step is to start increasing fibre intake to 25-30g per day, incorporating healthy fats (especially omega-3s), choosing lower-GI foods, consuming adequate amounts of protein (0.8g/kg body weight) and of course, exercising! But for now, let's just start at step one.