By Dean L. Jones, C.P.M.
Somehow consumers get caught allowing manufacturers of packaged foods dictate their eating patterns. Last year the maker of this growing in popularity spread called Nutella was sued for making false claims about being a nutritious food item. The parent company is named Ferrero legally agreed to pay $3 million for their misuse of advertising promotions that told the consuming public that Nutella carries nutritional and health benefits, as it was listed as a nutritious breakfast food. The settlement also required Ferrero to make changes to Nutella’s labeling and marketing, including how the television commercials and their website reported on the false nutritional value of Nutella.
For those who followed the class action law suit last year probably got some money back. The pay out from losing the case was that if you purchased Nutella in California between January 1, 2008 and February 3, 2012, were eligible to receive a payment from that class action settlement. The claims deadline has long passed, nevertheless it proves how far some businesses will go to make a buck, even if it includes poisoning kids through the bogus marketing practices by running an elaborate scam on their parents.
Nutella is a chocolate spread that is processed with sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk powder, whey powder, lecithin, and vanillin. Nutella contains 67% saturated fat and processed sugar by weight. A two-tablespoon (37 grams) serving of Nutella contains 200 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3.5 of which are saturated and 21 grams of processed sugar. The ever so popular 52.7 gram sized Snickers Chocolate Bar has 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 27 grams of processed sugar. It is not advised to eat a candy bar for breakfast, but surely a Snickers is far more filling than a two-tablespoon serving of Nutella, with closely the same amount of sugar damage. The point of this comparison is solely used to show just how hoodwinked consumers were led to believe that breakfast is more healthy using their candy-like spread.
It is unfortunate that a lot people have literally gotten hooked on this sugary filled product. Take for instance how the dormitory students at Columbia University are collectively eating up to 100 pounds a day of the chocolate spread. Some of the students are so hooked that they are stealing the stuff by filling cups/jars of Nutella to-go. Recently in Germany, an unknown number of suspected thieves stole 5.5 tons (($20,710 cost) of Nutella packages from a parked trailer in the town of Bad Hersfeld.
Regularly eating processed sugar is the likely dietary cause of several chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers. The body is attacked and robbed of vitamins and minerals through the demand to digest and eliminate processed sugar.
Dean Jones, Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributes his view on health attributes of packaged foods & beverages.