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    General Mills Offers Consumers Free Customized Weight-loss Program

    MINNEAPOLIS - In a clever marketing move, General Mills here is launching a free weight-management program designed to help consumers lose a pound a week. While the program incorporates some General Mills brands, it encourages eating a variety of foods, balancing calories, and exercising.

    MINNEAPOLIS - In a clever marketing move, General Mills here is launching a free weight-management program designed to help consumers lose a pound a week. While the program incorporates some General Mills brands, it encourages eating a variety of foods, balancing calories, and exercising.

    The program, called "Brand New You," is based on a similar program that General Mills launched this time last year for its employees.

    "With the typical New Year's resolutions to lose weight, come complex diet plans and fad diets that either restrict certain food groups, cost too much money, or take too much time -- causing Americans to quickly lose sight of their good intentions for the new year," said Timothy Crimmins, M.D., General Mills' v.p. of health, safety and environment, in a statement. "Brand New You is based on the proven formula for losing weight, which is managing calories in and calories out through balance, moderation and exercise. The success our employees had with this program led us to offer it to consumers."

    To get started in the program, customers sign up at www.brandnewyou.com, where they can then access customized menus developed by dietitians at General Mills' Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition and at the Betty Crocker Kitchens. The site also includes coupons for General Mills products that are integrated into the plan, as well as exercise tips, strategies for eating smart, inspirational stories, healthy living tips, and tools for tracking progress.

    Based on height, weight, age, gender, and activity level, the program delivers a customized 10-week meal plan designed to help consumers lose one pound per week. The week-by-week printable plan includes nutritional information for all meals and snacks, as well as recipes. Sample meals include Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps, Ultimate Melt in Your Mouth Pancakes, and Grilled Chicken with Scalloped Potatoes.

    General Mills is also providing a $500,000 strategic philanthropy fund for its retail customers to partner with nonprofit organizations to support improving health and nutrition behaviors, and to generate more awareness of the importance of health and fitness. To date, the General Mills Foundation has provided more than $4 million to schools and community groups for programs advancing youth nutrition and fitness through grants and its Champions Youth Nutrition and Fitness program, which is a partnership between the American Dietetic Association, the President's Challenge, and the General Mills Foundation.

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