Telling lies to children (and their parents)

By May 28, 2009Sugar

Nestle’s lawyers have demanded that I correct this post – see the correction before you read on.

They must have some very strange strawberries growing in the patch over at Uncle Toby’s place. The aged gent apparently grows fruit which is around 72% sugar. Now those would be sweet little strawberries indeed.

The average strawberry growing in the ground round these parts comes in at only 4.6%. Perhaps Nestle (the owner of Uncle Toby’s) has had a scientific breakthrough. Because they are now heavily promoting a product which contains ‘1 Serve of Fruit’ in every snack, but manages to pack almost 16 times as much sugar in.

‘Nutritionist’ Lisa Guy is very happy with the new Fruit Fix.As a ‘busy mum’ she’s found a nutritious snack (which is ‘99% fruit ingredients’) that she can feel good about feeding to her children.

Really? Let’s take a quick look at how a Strawberry Fruit Fix (SFF) stacks up against the strawberries it theoretically contains:

Protein: Strawberry 1% SFF 1.3%

Fat: Strawberry 0% SFF .5%

Sugar: Strawberry 4.6% SFF 72.7%

Fibre: Strawberry 2% SFF 7.3%

Well I guess they have about the same amount of protein …

I’ve become pretty good at seeing how, with just the right shade of rose coloured glasses on, a marketer can spin the description of junk food into healthy kids food, but this one defies even my best efforts.

Apparently the folks over at the National Heart Foundation were able to exercise their imaginations to just the right degree, because they’ve bestowed one of their highly prized ticks on this product.

On what planet is a ‘food’ which almost entirely consists of sugar, able to be described as a healthy and nutritious snack for children?

Given what we know about the addictive qualities of fructose, perhaps the name Fruit Fix is no accident. Nestle, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Naturally, I’ve lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Bureau and the ACCC.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Amy says:

    Hi David,

    I’m following up your comments for (website and e-newsletter for cardiologists). I was wondering if you would be free for a short phone interview about the heart foundation tick some time today?

    Many thanks,
    Amy Corderoy
    02 9422 2541

  • Unknown says:

    I am loving your posts! I am partnered with Dr. Rosedale he is not your typical MD doctor, but spends all his time pointing out how to read labels correctly!! and telling his diabetic patients how to eat to reverse type II! if you follow the american diabetic association this will MAINTAIN the disease and not reverse it.

  • Bron says:

    Hi David,
    I first heard of you only last week whilst you were doing an interview with David Oldfield on sydney radio 2GB re:sweet poison and how to substantially decrease sugar intake, even better completely quit sugar altogether. At first I thought this seemed too crazy an idea no one could ever do that. As it happens I daily record a show on channel 10 called ‘The Doctors’ (American of course) and on one of the segments they showed an animation of a lady enjoying a piece of cake and what happens to the cake upon eating and going into the digestive system. Blow me down end result is that eating too much sugar over time increases fat especially visceral fat (Unfortunately of which I have).I had never heard of this before we had only been brow beaten last 30 years with the low fat idea. So I have been scouring every paper, interview and research information about this, yours alike since. I am truly blown away by the powers that be out there that can turn a blind eye to the very people they say they want to help and not wanting to upset the apple cart (no pun intended) all for the mightly dollar. Please keep up the good work and keep us all informed.

  • […] responsive to reader requests. Richard Andersen has written to express some concerns about my recent post on Uncle Toby’s Fruit Fix bar. Richard is General Counsel (a lawyer) for Nestle Australia Ltd […]

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