Though I enjoy a good slice of American Cheez Food Product as much as the next unsophisticated child, I would not be so bold as to declare that product to be "healthy." Prestigious nutritionists bound to differ!

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a respected organization of health scientists and also the sort of group that *might* be willing to sell its endorsement to the manufacturer of orange chemical Cheez for the right price. Tennile Tracy's Wall Street Journal story today details the not-so-delicate dance between a major health organization and a massive corporation over how to convince everyone that slapping a "Kids Eat Healthy" logo on Kraft Radioactive Melty Cheez is absolutely not linked to anything except, uh, science.

The goal, according to the academy, was to spread the word that children need more calcium and vitamin D in their diets. "We saw this opportunity to help parents bridge that dairy gap," said Katie Brown, national education director for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, the academy's philanthropic arm.

As part of the arrangement, Kraft agreed to provide money for a grant to be used at the academy's discretion for scholarships, research or public education initiatives. Ms. Brown declined to disclose the sum provided by Kraft.

Bridge that dairy gap. Start em with cheez. Next you move em to Cheetos. Before you know it they're willing to try milkshakes.

[Photo: Flickr]