“Froot Loops is an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals and it is also a good source of fiber with only 12 grams of sugar.”
-Dr. Celeste A. Clark, senior vice president of global nutrition for Kellogg’s-
Despite federal guidelines favoring whole grains, the criteria allow
breads made with no whole grains to get the seal if they have added
nutrients. “You could start out with some sawdust, add calcium or Vitamin A and meet the criteria.”
-Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest-
Want a laugh? Read "For Your Health, Froot Loops" by William Neumann in the September 4, 2009 NYT. It would funny if it wasn't so pathetic-sad-disappointing-and-transparent. So now, Froot Loops, and a whole host of other garbage junk food will have a big bright green Smart Choices checkmark prominently stamped on its packaging. Oh, that's just the kind of helpful information we need!
Here are some tidbits from the article:
1. A new food-labeling campaign called Smart Choices, backed by most of the nation’s largest food manufacturers, is “designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices.”
2. The green checkmark label that is starting to show up on store shelves will appear on hundreds of packages, including — to the surprise of many nutritionists — sugar-laden cereals like Cocoa Krispies and Froot Loops.
3. “The checkmark means the food item is a ‘better for you’ product, as
opposed to having an x on it saying ‘Don’t eat this,’ ” Dr. Eileen Kennedy, president of the Smart Choices board and the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University said.
“Consumers are smart enough to deduce that if it doesn’t have the
checkmark, by implication it’s not a ‘better for you’ product. They
want to have a choice. They don’t want to be told ‘You must do this.’ ”
4. Froot Loops qualifies for the label because it meets standards set by the Smart Choices Program for fiber and Vitamins A and C, and because it does not exceed limits on fat, sodium and sugar. It contains the maximum amount of sugar allowed under the program for cereals, 12 grams per serving, which in the case of Froot Loops is 41 percent of the product, measured by weight. That is more sugar than in many popular brands of cookies.
5. Ten companies have signed up for the Smart Choices program so far, including Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, ConAgra Foods, Unilever, General Mills, PepsiCo and Tyson Foods. Companies that participate pay up to $100,000 a year to the program, with the fee based on total sales of its products that bear the seal.
6. Michael R. Taylor, a senior F.D.A. adviser, said the agency was concerned that sugar-laden cereals and high-fat foods would bear a label that tells consumers they were nutritionally superior.
7. Despite federal guidelines favoring whole grains, the criteria allow breads made with no whole grains to get the seal if they have added nutrients.
“You could start out with some sawdust, add calcium or Vitamin A and meet the criteria,” Mr. Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest said.
8. "The object of this is to make highly processed foods appear as healthful as unprocessed foods, which they are not,” said Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers Research Report: "Opportunities in the Fast Growing Functional Foods Market"
Yes, people are willing to buy junk food if they think it's healthy and good for their kids.
Here's an excerpt from the Fox News Story about the report:
"A report released Thursday finds that even in a weak economy, people will pay a premium for products seen as preventing a health problem or providing a good alternative to sodas and empty-calorie snacks. The report is from research firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
New York University food scientist Marion Nestle calls them (these phony nutriceutical functional foods that pose as healthy foods) "calorie distractors."
"Functional foods are about marketing, not health," she said. "They delude people into thinking that these things are healthy," and they often eat more than is wise, she said.
Her shame list includes a candy bar pumped with caffeine and B vitamins, marketed as an "energy boost," and fattening ice creams enriched with calcium and helpful bacteria called probiotics."
For the Fox News Story click here.
For the Pricewaterhouse Report Leveraging growth in the emerging functional foods industry click here.
For information about the Smart Choices Program click here.
For information on the new 2009 American Heart Association sugar consumption recommendations click here.