March 1, 2018


Hey, UP&GO! This is what I think of you advertising your gut-injuring junk food on my son’s favourite YouTube video.

He is FIVE and watches the exact same videos as all the other children as young as, I guess, two?

He watches YouTube while he eats, animals and unboxings and that little f#@ker Caillou, because he has Down syndrome and serious sensory issues, and food aversion, and it helps him tune out and get the job done so there’s fuel in his body.

Here he’s eating a seriously unhealthy pack of 2 minute noodles- one of the last foods I’m desperately trying to eliminate.


I watch him with guilt every morning at breakfast, even though I was lucky enough to see the light and switch him to green a battle which took over a year by the way, thanks for that attractive brightly coloured ad campaign you undermined me with all of last year too!

Props to your Weet Bix creative department cos you sure sucked my kids in, I was asked for Up n Go’s weekly for months, but my fault for exposing my children to television correct? Sorry I didn’t f$#k off back to my cave until your return on ad spend kicked in and you could crunch the numbers.

It’s been a long food journey for our family. Partially cos we don’t live in that cave I was telling you about earlier.

Parker used to have Up & Go’s because they’re ‘safe’, they’re pure sugar, they’re ‘easier’ than consuming actual food- kids with disabilities (and a PLETHORA of existing gut health issues) are DRAWN to Up & Go’s in droves.

Sanitarium you have no idea how many parents give their kids stuff like this (oh wait, yes you DO) and instead of increasing the nutritional content and decreasing the sugar, you increase your advertising budget and decrease your awareness of what your customers ACTUALLY want.

Healthy options. Not you faking it and rebranding junk as ‘slightly better junk’.

Can we please not shame anyone that believes that about Up & Go’s? It is so easy to be duped by and TRUST Government bodies and regulatory systems. Surely they have our best interests at heart…

My young daughter used to have Up & Go Liquid Breakfast every single day for breakfast because I believed the advertising campaign that it had the protein, energy and dietary fibre of two weetbix and milk and actually thought it was good for her.

Unfortunately the truth is shocking- this drink has a ‘4.5 star rating’ and nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar, not to mention the rest of the horrific ingredients in these drinks. This is NOT providing us or our kids with genuine nutritional value.

This petition I signed the other day is about so much more than Stars. It is about educating and empowering people to understand the deep seated corruption in the Australian food industry and HELPING parents (ESPECIALLY special needs parents) make better choices for their families- not shaming them for taking the easiest option available when they’re already stressed and at the end of their tether.

Don’t be that d@#khead to say, ‘they should just make green smoothies for their kids then.’

NO- don’t shame parents. Provide BETTER options, market to our kids, sure, but make it food that won’t potentially PREMATURELY KILL THEM.

And don’t let our government allow private corporations to grant them 4.5 stars on a ‘healthy star food rating l system’ they invented and companies can BUY the rights to slap on a label.

Please sign the petition here https://www.change.org/p/australian-government-scrap-the-healthy-star-food-rating-system

Can you relate to what Kat is saying?

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This post originally appeared on Kat Abianac, Facebook page and has been shared with full permission.

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  • When my husband was under going Chemo treatments the hospital used to give him Up and Go


  • I agree they should be spending more money to increase the nutrition! Good call


  • Lucky that in our house No means No. That’s the answer for all goods being advertised on TV or U-tube unless it’s fresh produce and everyone knows it.


  • Yes I hate the adverts in you tube videos, I stopped my kid watching them because of the adverts!


  • I used to drink these myself thinking they were healthy until I read the sugar/energy content. Disgusting!


  • I read labels and do not follow the star ratings.


  • I was constantly getting asked by my 5yo boy to buy up&go, I simply said ‘No Way it’s very unhealthy’. He tried a few more times, now he doesn’t bother asking. He knows unhealthy things are very very limited in our house.
    My advice to people who don’t know and think because it’s advertised as healthy it is healthy is to read the ingredients on the packaging, it’s the only way you will know the truth. As a general rule anything pre packaged like that isn’t going to be healthy.


  • I don’t pay any attention to any so called ‘health’ rating as it’s long been known that food companies can purchase the rating they wish to display. Instead I choose foods by reading the ingredient labels, if those are filled with made up names (such as hydrolysed protein instead of soy), chemicals or even worse numbers instead of names, then the product goes back onto the shelf, I refuse to buy it. I use minimally processed foods, and mostly cook for myself using fresh fruits and veges in season and bought locally as I’m no longer able to physically tend to a garden to produce my own fruit and veges.


  • I don’t agree with the star rating most of the time and take them with a pinch of salt.


  • I can totally relate to this mum. It’s shocking how companies promote food that’s good for kids but it’s actually chock full of sugar, salt and fat.


  • regardless of advertising, you are the parent it is your job to provide the food your child consumes, learn to say no and not buy them. Learn to read the packaging. Companies will say anything to sell their products. they get very creative with the truth, read the fine print


  • The Star Rating is often very misleading. People see them and presume the contents are healthy. In fact most of them have high fat or sugar or sodium (salt). How can they legitimately give the star ratings that a lot of products have?


  • My kids and I love an Up and Go for breakfast on school mornings. It’s quick and easy and they’ll actually drink it. Better than going to school with nothing in their stomachs.


  • My kid loves YouTube kids but hasn’t asked for any processed junk yet. Thankfully the only packet food my daughter likes is Greek yoghurt. But I understand about the stupid health rating system we have. I’ve seen so many parents lulled into a sense of security because of a good health rating, some even refuse to acknowledge just how bad these foods really are when you actually read the nutrition label. How are we meant to give our kids good nutritious foods when food labels give us misleading and even false information


  • I do think there are ways to avoid ads – like DVDs. But she’s right that food labels cn be hard to decipher fully.


  • Not sure I’m really on her side. Chuck on abc kids instead of YouTube. And it never would have occurred to me that up and go was suitable for kids. Of any age. I’m struggling so much to find good food for kinder for my fussy eater but I’m trying to avoid anything processed because I assume its full of sugar and salt.


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