Thursday, April 02, 2009

Badvertising: Brain Bread

Yup, give your kids Wonder Bread to make them smart.

Recommendations generally are for children to have 2 servings of fish weekly for them to consume enough healthy fats (DHA) which may have benefits in brain development.

So how much bread would you have to eat to get the DHA of two weekly serving of fish?

Well my friends over at CBC Marketplace in their most recent show figured that out for us (and it's well worth a watch - only 6 minutes).

Want to wager a guess?

My guess is you'll be wrong, unless of course you guessed 428 slices of bread.

How nice of Wonder Bread to prey on parents wanting to help their children.

Shouldn't there be laws against this type of badvertising?

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  1. Carbo loading at its best! Yikes!

  2. I assume there are laws against something like this? Are they just not enforced very frequently, or do the adds have some fine print that let them off the hook?

  3. Actually, the laws protect the food manufacturers from "frivolous" lawsuits based on health concerns. I was very surprised to learn this when I contacted several lawyers to inquire about a class action law suite against food manufacturers and fast food companies pushing foods that contribute to the rising tide of type 2 diabetes diagnoses.

    The individual is expected to "use due diligence and be proactive about their health concerns." (translation, we are individually responsible for the food choices we make for us and our children.

    Sad, big food has big lobbies and academic prostitutes willing to do and say anything their employers require. A case in point, a recent article about the health risks of red meats had countering statements from Registered Dietitians from the beef and pork industry. Yoni has written about the Canadian dietitians selling out.

    We as consumers are in this on our own and owe a debt of gratitude to those few willing to raise the warnings. Dr. Freedhoff is in a very small minority willing to tell the truth. I have been researching how to control type 2 diabetes with diet for myself and sharing what I learn with others. For every good and honest site there have to be at least 1000 willing to regurgitate bad information. The food companies arnt protecting you, the government is not protecting you. Sadly, even the medicals pros for the most part arn't either.

    Keep up the great work Yoni.


  4. Reminds me of the Wonder Bread commercials of my youth: "Wonder builds strong bodies 12 ways!" I think the idea was that the bread was supposed to be more vitamin-enriched than other white breads. It was advertised on all the children's TV shows (Captain Kangaroo was particularly stuck on this brand), and the colorful red, yellow, and blue balloons made us preschoolers think that this brand was made especially for us and that our mothers would have been irresponsible to feed us any other brand.

    Most of our mothers were able to see right through the advertising hype and were unwilling to pay the premium for the brand name and colorful balloons on the packaging.

  5. Anonymous12:32 pm

    Just one more reason to teach your children about advertising, and how they try to influence you. Once you teach this to kids, they will delight in pointing it out to you. Make a game of it.

  6. Maybe the mega doses of DHA will counteract the effect of high insulin levels on the brain -

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  8. Anonymous12:55 pm

    As a registered dietitian who works with renal and diabetic patients I find comments made by Mr. Grubb offensive. There are over 5000 RD's in Canada, to state that "the Canadian dietitians [are] selling out" based on the comments of one dietitian is in bad taste and grossly inaccurate.

    The majority of our profession works for provincial health authorities, government funded programs and private care facilities. We simply have nothing to gain by endorsing "big food". RD's in your community (healh units, hospitals etc.) use evidence based and academically supported information.