Posted by Amelia Boothman on November 6, 2009
Currently we have 1.5 million children in England who are overweight or obese, which increases their risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
The National Heart Forum has significantly downgraded its forecasts of a continued rise in obesity among children in England, following a new analysis of data. The rate of increase in childhood obesity may be starting to slow. It now predicts that by 2020 the proportion of boys aged 2-11 who will be overweight or obese will be 30% (not 42% as previously predicted) and for girls they now predict 27% not 48%. A similar trend his being observed in other countries, such as the US, France and Denmark.
The researchers said it was not clear why obesity levels might have levelled off, but thought government interventions and media coverage may have played a role. From my experience of talking to mothers and children about food over the last 18 months, I would certainly agree.
Parents constantly mention the new school programmes which focus on healthy eating. They are even bemoaning when their kids tell them the food they provide is not healthy enough! I believe it’s the kids who are dragging their parents kicking and screaming towards healthier eating, as their schools educate them on what they should be eating and the consequences of not doing so.
My hope is that this next generation of kids will be more thoughtful when feeding their children, rather than setting their kids out on a lifetime of illness, easily prevented by a simple change in diet.
Posted by Amelia Boothman on November 5, 2009
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is to open next year and promises to offer “an intense multi-sensory experience”. If it does deliver on this, I’m convinced it will be a success.
Ironically, it is thought, that through its 28 branded stores around the world and a website selling merchandise such as Ferrari-branded clothing, watches, briefcases, stationary and model cars, that Ferrari makes more money on merchandise, than it does selling the cars!
However, the theme park is not the only extension afoot. Ferrari are also going into bed with their sister brand Fiat to create a Ferrari branded Abarth 500. Will the Ferrari 500 Abarth devalue the brand? Only if they give into temptation and make too many…
Posted by Amelia Boothman on September 28, 2009
Today The Value Engineers ran a coffee morning to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. We’re still enjoying stuffing our faces, and it’s guilt free because its all in a good cause…
Posted by Amelia Boothman on July 1, 2009
Drum roll please…an Aston Martin you can buy for £20,000. Unfortunately underneath it’s a £10,000 Toyota.
The ultimate luxury supercar, the brand I once most wanted to own and was even proposed to in, has just made the most audacious move in brand extensions. You may have thought the Cayenne frog-like 4 x 4 (which is really underneath a VW Touareg) was a dangerous move by Porsche, but at least they kept to luxury and status. But did you even think that Bond might be seen in the big sister of this…
Why, you might ask, would Aston Martin want to risk their status and elite credentials with this? The experts hypothesise;
1. To lower their average CO2 to meet EU emissions targets (Aston Martin are no longer owned by Ford so can’t average it out using lower-emission cars such as Fiestas)
2. Because they are struggling to make money in the teeth of a recession
3. It’s 2009 and all you make is thirsty big-engined, luxury sports cars, whilst the world is getting excited about hybrids and electric cars..
So will revamping the Toyota iQ work? Well BMW’s Mini Cooper is still going strong, and Mercedes were eventually successful with Smart, but neither of them did it with such blatant exploitation of their current brand equity, neither used their hard earned design cues with their premium badge on the front! This is unique, no one’s done this before. In the words of motoring journalist Colin Goodwin, “This is the Rolling Stones cutting an album of choral music and being serious about it” .
Ferrari wouldn’t do it. In the early seventies they launched the ‘cheap’ Dino, with no trace of the Ferrari brand logo or name. It had its own unique Dino brand identity.
We watch and wait for Cygnet to sink or swim at it’s launch next year!
Posted by Amelia Boothman on June 26, 2009
On Tuesday 23rd June the Government announced the world’s largest ever coordinated trial of environmentally friendly vehicles, which to me is about time, as the technology is not right yet to make these cars really practical, so without a push car companies won’t make the effort. It’s a £25 million project, the aim being to try and achieve what is still very far from reality, to make ultra-low carbon vehicles an everyday feature of life on Britain’s roads, in less than five years. People can take part in long-term trials of everything from electric Minis and Smart city cars to sports cars and electric vans.
Like any other electrical appliance, the cars have plug sockets instead of a petrol cap, which means the electricity needs to be sustainably sourced to be really green. Anyone interested in taking part will need to meet fairly specific criteria (which I and most of my friends don’t!). “You’ll have to have a garage, for example, and you’ll have to have a fairly modern electrical wiring system,” said Emma Lowndes of Mini UK. A normal socket would take over 10 hours to charge the Mini’s battery! They’re talking with Scottish and Southern Energy about putting in a 32 amp box into homes to make a more realistic charging time of 4 hours. Miguel Fonseca, Managing Director of Toyota in the UK said a hybrid car (which they of course make), which can be driven in electric mode and can also use petrol efficiently, was more ideal because of the lack, of advanced infrastructure to charge an electric car quickly. Unfortunately the hybrid car is not as eco-friendly as we’d all like, it needs two engines for the electric and the petrol modes and many small petrol cars such as our very own James Littlewood’s VW Blue Motion do many more miles to the gallon!
Some of the vehicles can travel for 100 miles on a full charge. One of the featured vehicles was the “Lightning” sports car, a 100 percent electric vehicle capable of reaching 130 miles per hour. Personally I’d love to run an electric car for my 50 miles commute but currently I can’t charge one as I live in a street with no off road parking and many of these car’s batteries would flatten before I got home. I guess its still an eco pipe dream for most of us!