The cereals are just two of the foods to receive approval from a new food-labeling campaign called Smart Choices, backed by most of the nation’s largest food manufacturers. The green checkmark label is “designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices.”
Smarter than what, you ask? Donuts according to Eileen T. Kennedy, (unpaid) president of the Smart Choices board and dean of the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.
Quoth the NY Times:
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.
But wait, it gets better. Celeste A. Clark, senior vice president of global nutrition for Kellogg’s, which makes Froot Loops said Smart Choices’ standard for sugar in cereals was consistent with federal dietary guidelines which state “small amounts of sugar” added to nutrient-dense foods like breakfast cereals can make them taste better.
Great final quote from the wonderfully named Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at my alma mater, New York University. “The object of this is to make highly processed foods appear as healthful as unprocessed foods, which they are not.”
You will not be surprised to learn the Smart Choices research and campaign is paid for by food companies. So far 10 of them have ponied up as much as $100K for the right to have the seal on their products. I suspect many more will soon jump on board.
This program approved by: