A federal judge ruled this week that Vitaminwater will not, as its labels promise, keep you “healthy as a horse.” Nor will it bring about a “healthy state of physical or mental being”. Instead, Vitaminwater is really just a sugary snack food; non-carbonated fruit coke disguised as a sports drink. Because it’s composed mostly of sugar and not vitamin-laden water, judge John Gleeson held that Vitaminwater’s absurd marketing claims were likely to mislead consumers. [More]
Next time someone hassles you about how lousy the American diet is, point them to a new survey which shows that British consumers spend about 25% of their weekly food budget on junk food, including potato chips (or “crisps,” as they so quaintly call them), chocolate and soda. Then go finish your bag of chips. [More]
Frito-Lay is warning consumers to watch out for fake free bags of Doritos coupons being distributed via email. If you are an unsuspecting victim of this subterfuge and receive the coupon in your inbox, watch out! You might get to check out and not be able to get a free bag of Doritos with a value of up to $5. Here’s how you spot the real deal and the phonies, just like Holden Caulfield: [More]
Some of Kraft’s South Beach Living cereal bars have been reformulated, and the new label boasts that, in addition to a “new lower price,” the bars have “twice the protein of the leading cereal bars.” That might be true, given that most cereal bars are made up of little more than corn, rice, corn syrup, rice and corn. But the new bars actually have 20% less protein than the previous versions.
A new Yale report finds that cereal companies spent $156 million per year marketing to children, and most of that money gets plowed into pushing the sugariest cereals, which they try to pretend are healthy.
Yesterday we posted a photo a reader sent in of a toy aisle in his local Walmart that was packed with junk food. We all got commenty on what exactly Walmart was doing—was it a one-off paid promo by Pepsi? A marketing experiment? A power-mad store manager driven crazy by shelving issues? Nah, it’s actually an intentional choice mandated by corporate.
The Times has a write-up of the Smart Choices campaign, an industry-supported healthy foods labeling program that generously designates foods like Fruit Roll-Ups, mayonnaise, and Cocoa Puffs as good for you. “These are horrible choices,” says the head of the nutrition department at Harvard School of Public Health.
Do you lie awake at night, wondering where the potatoes in the bag of Lay’s chips you downed while watching “Dancing With the Stars” were grown? No, neither do most sane people. However, our alert colleagues over at ShopSmart magazine have discovered the Lay’s Chip Tracker, which can tell you the potato source based on the bag’s production code. No, seriously.
The AP is reporting that Venezuela has banned Coke Zero because the company allegedly didn’t declare a potentially harmful artificial sweetener when it “received its initial health permit to begin selling the product in April.”
Consumer Reports says that the supermarket self check-out line is better on your wallet and your gut. “You’ll find fewer snacks,” they write, “and because of the shorter wait time, you’ll have less time to contemplate a snack attack.” There’s even a study that shows impulse purchases dropped by nearly a third for women and a sixth for men when they chose the self check-out line. You also get to play with the scanner, touchscreen, and bag area, which is a lot more fun than just standing around. (That’s right, “bag area.”)
This website displays photos of soft drinks, smoothies, candy, and even vegetables next to little piles of sugar cubes that represent the total sugar in them. This is a great service, because if you ever go into space you can simply use this site to pack a baggie full of an equivalent amount of cubes. Then you can enjoy your Space McFlurry without worrying about liquid contamination of the spacecraft.
A grocery growth ray is set to hit a popular condiment and several kinds of baked corn with names ending “tos.” To push the brands as being good values, Heinz will be selling slightly larger ketchup bottles, and Frito-Lay is adding 20% to Tostitos, Fritos, Cheetos and Doritos – without raising the price. Unlike the grocery shrink ray, you can bet this change will be loudly trumpeted on the package.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has announced a class-action lawsuit against Coca-Cola over its VitaminWater line, on the grounds that it makes deceptive claims about the nutritional benefits of its drinks.
There are few things in the universe more evil than carnival food. Why do they feed us deep-fried sugary food before we get on rides that spin us around and around? Why is it that carnies aren’t all 500 lbs.? Must be the meth. Check out Newsweek’s list of the 7 most unhealthy carnival foods.