Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whoah, 3 Whole Grams of Fiber?

While watching TV last night, I spotted a commercial for four of General Mills' most kid targeted (read: sugary and colorful) cereals.  During the commercial, they enthusiastically pointed out that the cereals had "3 grams of fiber per bowl!"

Pardon me if 3 measly grams of fiber doesn't exactly make me skip through the neighborhood and sing the praises of the product.  To put it into perspective:
  • It takes 5 grams of water to fill a teaspoon
  • 3 grams is also only 6% of the recommended daily value for fiber, a fact which is printed right on the product label.
Am I saying all of this just to put a negative spin on cereals like Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops?  Absolutely not.  I'm saying this because every day, it disgusts me the lengths to which product advertising will go to get you to believe their product is healthy or good for you.  They know darned well that at least half their audience won't bother to look at the %DV on the label, so if the ad implies that 3 grams is a lot (by announcing it in a car salesman voice), people are going to believe it.


  1. Seriously. I just saw an ad the other day for Boar's Head "Heart Healthy" meats, that encouraged people not to blindly buy things labeled "Heart Healthy". On closer inspection, it looks like some of them are certified by the American Heart Association, but only for fat, cholesterol and saturated fat. Sodium is a huge deal if you're trying to prevent heart disease. For risk prone people the new guidelines are 1500mg a day. Most of the meats are in the 350-500ish range, which is almost a third of the sodium recommendation per day. Sheesh :P

  2. I dunno... 1/3 of your RDA in sodium might not be so bad for a product intended to be eaten only at meal times--especially something that's typically a lunch food. It's definitely not bad when you put it in perspective against some "snacktime" foods that average that or more per serving like cottage cheese (~400mg) and packaged/manufactured treats.

    I'd be interested to see how some of the other brands compare. If they're way more than BH (I'll bet they are), then all the more, it's a good thing.

    I do agree, though, that the AHA should probably be rating the sodium as well as the fat and cholesterol.


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