Giant Eggs Hatch A Real Pig's Breakfast
7 April, 2004
Green MP Sue Kedgley, the Party's Safe Food and Consumer Affairs spokesperson, today slammed the marketing of huge, one kilogram chocolate Easter eggs that challenge children to eat the giant egg in less than 15 minutes, saying it was the height of irresponsibility.
The 'What a Pig' eggs are being sold through branches of The Warehouse. The Warehouse is a shareholder in Waikato Valley Chocolates, the company producing the eggs.
The packaging of the eggs displays a 'Pig-o-meter' time scale says that if a child takes more than two hours to eat the egg they are a 'loser', whereas if they eat it in less than 15 minutes the child is a legendary pig. In between, the child is either a hero or a wimp.
"Encouraging children to eat these huge eggs, which contain one cup of fat and two and a half cups of sugar, in 15 minutes is completely irresponsible," said Ms Kedgley. "Then to suggest that they are a wimp or loser for not eating it in an hour is a terrible message to send to our children.
"Essentially, children are being egged on to eat four times the recommended daily intake of calories in less than 15 minutes."
Ms Kedgley called on the Warehouse to remove these eggs from its shelves. "The Warehouse cannot credibly claim to be socially responsible when it is marketing food in this totally irresponsible way.
"How can we encourage children to eat healthy food when they're branded a loser for not gobbling up a massive Easter egg in 15 minutes?" asked Ms Kedgley. "This is the kind of exploitative marketing that is fuelling the obesity epidemic.
"It's horrifying to think of what will happen to children if they take up the challenge and stuff themselves with this pig's breakfast of sugar and fat in less than 15 minutes."
Based on nutritional information on the packaging, the egg contains 304 grams of fat, 586 grams of sugar and contains 5,384 calories. This equates to one cup of fat and two-and-a-half cups of sugar.
"Easter's always been a time of indulgence for children and it's good to have fun with food, but these speed-racing eggs go beyond the realms of acceptability," said Ms Kedgley.
Australia's recommended daily intakes indicate four to seven year-old children consume 1442 to 1923 calories per day; for eight to 11 years, the range is 1682 to 2163 calories. New Zealand has not yet set guidelines.