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General Mills Announces Major Nutrition Education Initiative in Conjunction with New Food Guide Pyramid


MINNEAPOLIS,MN -- April 19, 2005 -- The new food guide pyramid unveiled by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services today will now serve as the basis of a national educational tool to help Americans understand the new dietary guidelines. General Mills is stepping forward to advance nutrition education in America by announcing that more than 100 million boxes of its Big G cereal brands will carry the new USDA food guide pyramid, now known as MyPyramid, along with important nutritional information.

“The 2005 Dietary Guidelines are the collective efforts of the American nutrition community, and we want to help communicate these important messages by using some of the best real estate there is,” said John Haugen, vice president of Big G marketing, General Mills. “The cereal box is one of the most read items in the home, read on average 2.6 times. With cereal consumed in 93 percent of American households and with the information on more than 100 million General Mills cereal boxes, this is a powerful step forward in nutrition education.”

And education is important. The new food guide pyramid emphasizes the need for increased whole grain consumption. But nine out of 10 people in the United States do not eat the minimum recommended daily amount of whole grain. General Mills is the only leading cereal manufacturer to offer more than 50 cereals -- all of its Big G cereals -- as a good or excellent source of whole grain.

MyPyramid reinforces the USDA Dietary Guidelines’ recommendation that consuming at least three servings of whole grains per day can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and may help with weight maintenance.

“The science shows a strong connection between whole grain and a reduced risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, which are the biggest preventable killers in the United States,” said Susan J. Crockett, PhD, RD, FADA, and director of General Mills’ Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. “This new nutrition education initiative continues General Mills’ commitment to providing consumers with important health information.”

In addition to cereal being great-tasting and an easy way to add whole grain servings to the average American’s diet, Crockett said “both nonsweetened and presweetened cereals are one of the most nutritionally packed breakfasts for the calories per serving you can eat.”

Frequent cereal eaters, whether adult or children, have healthier body weights and are more likely to meet the recommended amounts of key vitamins and minerals than those who don’t consume cereal. And studies have shown that children who eat breakfast perform better in school.

General Mills, the single largest producer of whole grain foods in the United States, is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of consumer foods products, with annual worldwide net sales of $12.3 billion. Its global brand portfolio includes Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Haagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Bugles and more. It also has more than 100 U.S. consumer brands, more than 30 of which generate annual retail sales in excess of $100 million. Included in the U.S. portfolio are some of the nation’s most popular brands including Cheerios, Wheaties and other Big G cereal brands; Yoplait and Colombo yogurts, Betty Crocker desserts and dinner mixes; Betty Crocker and Nature Valley snacks; Totino’s frozen pizza and snacks; and Progresso ready-to-serve soups. General Mills is also a leader in the bakeries and foodservice business as a major supplier of baking and other food products to the foodservice and commercial baking industries.


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