I would like to start a conversation with my people today … the other fitness and healthy journey bloggers out there who do this for a living. We have sponsors, we write regularly, and we consider our blogs not only a way to communicate with people, but also a job and a business. So, my people, how do you feel about food sponsors?
I have to admit I have very, very mixed feelings. It seems most of the food companies looking to sponsor bloggers aren’t the type of food that I personally think I should be promoting.
I’ve recently seen chocolate milk wade into the health and fitness blogger sea and they are definitely spending some big money. There was a recent study that came out saying chocolate milk is the perfect combination of carbohydrates and protein for post-recovery refueling. Well, if I was chocolate milk, I would have done the exact same thing they’re doing, finding the biggest megaphone possible and shouting from the roof tops. And yes, I drank it once after a six-mile run (long for me) and it went down nice and easy. But I’m still wondering, since it’s got added sugar, is it really the best thing for me? By the way, Toby Amidor, a registered dietician, has written a great post on is chocolate milk healthy?
Most of the food products looking to sponsor and advertise these days are processed in some way: crackers, sauces, cookies, snacks, nutrition bars, and the like. These are the ones that are healthier than their traditional counterparts, but are they still healthy enough?
We should be eating lean proteins, lots of fruits and veggies, a reasonable amount of fats, whole grains, dairy, and a dash of sweets. I haven’t been approached by the broccoli board, but I’d love to get their call. I eat broccoli three to four times a week! And pecans! I love ‘em! Such a great little snack for me. Where are the pecan sponsors? The tomato council or the onion people would love me … I eat them practically every day …
What We Don’t Know Might Be Dangerous
I consider myself a fitness pro; I’ve been training clients for over 15 years and I’ve got certifications and tons of continuing education credits. But that doesn’t make me a nutrition expert. Yes, I read a lot about healthy eating, I’ve done a ton of research on my own, and I’m fairly positive I know more than the average person. But I’m not a nutritionist (I wish I was) and I don’t know if I’m the one who should be giving you nutrition advice. When I do, I always qualify it with either this works for me or the research seems to be good, but check with an RD or your doctor before following the advice. And I mean that. I know enough to be very hesitant before I say something.
What if a blogger somewhere is pushing a food product (or worse, shakes and supplements) and they don’t really know the effects of what they’re ingesting and recommending others ingest? A lot of these shakes are loaded with sugars for instance. I see a lot of people buying completely in to what they read and I wonder if a blogger someday is going to get sued for having a medical issue crop up with a reader after they recommended certain advice.
I think if you’re taking money to advertise a product, you better be darned sure you believe in that product. I think the bar is higher for those of us who do.
As of right now, I support ActivewearUSA because I love their clothes, they have over 110 brands, a range of styles and price points, and I live in fitness clothing (this sponsored relationship is easy for me; I approached them, and thankfully they said yes). I also love working with Sears and their FitStudio group because it’s just such a great group of people. They truly care about fitness, they work hard to recruit good bloggers and fitness pros, and they really want the customers of Sears to live a more healthy life. It’s reflected in everything they do.
It’s natural for me to want to work with a food sponsor, and trust me, I’d love to have a little bit more income … but I’ve only been approached by brands I wouldn’t represent.
So for those of you with food sponsors, did you enthusiastically say yes because of the product or because of the money? Are you comfortable with your decision? If you don’t have a food sponsor yet, how would you choose who to work with? Say the world’s largest fast food chain offered you a million dollars. Would you take it? (I know I’d be tempted, but I’d like to think I wouldn’t cave … ).
Let’s start a discussion and see where it goes.