'Smart Choices' Labels On Fruit Loops? Huh?

Kim Conte
7

grocery cartI'm sure you've seen the "Smart Choices" nutrition label showing up in the grocery store aisles. It's the little green check mark label (click link to view) located at the bottom of several packaged and processed foods, which signifies to consumers that certain standards for calories per serving and fat content have been met.

The labeling program was intended to combat obesity by helping people make "smarter choices" about what they eat. But how are we supposed to make healthier choices when such items as sugar cereals (that are almost 50 percent sugar) and frozen ice pops have the Smart Choices label?

Because of the Smart Choices program's lax standards, large food companies have been able to put the Smart Choices label on foods that, frankly, are not smart choices: (Froot Loops cereal, Cookie Crisp cereal, and Uncle Ben's Instant Rice are a few examples.) No doubt, consumers are mislead by the labels and buy foods they think are healthy but are really not.

The good news is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the misleading nutrition labels and developing nutritional standards that would have to be met before manufacturers place such claims on their packages.

Which begs the question: Why hadn't they developed these nutritional standards before?

Do you think the Smart Choices label is misleading? Are you angered by the fact that Fruit Loops, Cookie Crisp, etc. are considered "Smart Choices"?

 

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