Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Food & Environmental Nutrition

Research Sponsor

Christin Seher

First Reader

Jennifer Warren

Second Reader

Mary Lynn Crowley


The marketing of unhealthy food to children is often cited as a cause of the obesity epidemic.1 However, most studies that examine this issue evaluated the marketing of food through print or television advertising. This project investigates the marketing of food products to children through incentive based programs, specifically General Mill’s Box Tops 4 Education. This study undertakes a preliminary systematic analysis of Box Tops food items to determine their healthfulness. A subset of all Box Tops food products was selected for review and a basic quantitative content analysis of priority nutrients was performed. Priority nutrients were identified based on their relevance to childhood nutrition; they include sugar, fiber, iron, calcium, total fat, saturated fat, and calories per serving. Based of the results of this analysis, average calories per serving is reasonable (151.06 Cal), total fat (5.65 g/serving) and saturated fat (1.67 g/serving) are slightly high, sugar is high (8.08 g/serving), and vital nutrients like fiber (1.79 g/serving), calcium (2% DV), and iron (2% DV) are low. Overall conclusions state Box Tops products are relatively unhealthy.

Box Tops Spreadsheet Complete .xlsx (24 kB)
Data Collection Tool