Monday, May 14, 2012

McDonald's Helping Kids Get Their "5 A Day" With Fruit Soda?

They're selling it on the backs of the ridiculous notion perpetuated by the likes of Canada's Food Guide, MyPlate, and virtually every national eating guide that juice counts as a fruit.

It's called "Fruitizz", and it's a carbonated fruit juice being promoted by McDonald's as being a healthy choice for kids.

What's in it?

6 teaspoons of sugar per cup. For those counting, that's more than Coca-Cola. Oh, and they serve it in 500mL cups, so 12 teaspoons of sugar accounting for 98% of the drink's 200 calories.

But the best (worst) part?

They're rolling it out on the basis of national food guides and stating that drinking it, because it's a juice, makes it part of a kid's 5-A-Day (remember national food guidelines, including those in Canada, the US and the UK, explicitly and inanely consider juice to be a fruit).

Don't believe me?

Here's the cup.

The truly awful part?

There's buy-in.

Check out this completely clueless quote by Malcolm Clark a spokesperson for the British Heart Foundation funded Children's Food Campaign,
"It's encouraging to see companies like McDonald's making it easier for parents to make healthier choices for their children.

The best news for children's health will be if fruit-based drinks start to displace sugary drinks such as Coca-Cola from children's menus in McDonald's.
Yes Mr. Clark, it's so incredibly encouraging that McDonald's is giving parents another reason to feel comfortable not cooking their children a healthy dinner and that they're doing so on the back of a beverage that they (and you) are teaching kids and their parents is a "fruit" - a fruit that's nutritionally equivalent to sugared soda with a smattering of vitamins. Ugh. The best news for children's health would be if organizations like yours actually stopped supporting the notion that you can ever buy health in a restaurant let alone with beverages that drop per drop have the same, or in this case for heaven's sake more sugar than "sugary drinks such as Coca-Cola".


[And while you're at it, check out the commercial from the UK. Putting aside the fruit-washing, I'm thinking the kids in the video are likely accurate representations of what your kids will be like following their counts-towards-5-a-day sugar rushes.]

(email subscribers, you need to visit the blog to watch)


  1. I'm sick and tired of the blatant disregard for human health in this country! This is just one more example of how money is the prime objective. I haven't eaten at McDonald's in 10 years, and neither have my kids. I am vigilant, and my kids are INFORMED about what they eat and why.

    Wake up, parents!!!

  2. Um, wow. So sad from a public health perspective. How can people learn about nutrition when government guidelines permit this?

  3. In BC we have a guideline for raising children with healthy weights, 5210. 5 or more fruits/vegetables per day, 2 hours or less of screen time per day, 1 hour or more of active play and ZERO sugar sweetened beverages. Kids DO NOT need fruit juice. Give them a piece of fruit and a glass of water. To see the 5210 guideline visit

  4. Anonymous10:42 am

    Sigh........This makes me sad. Just yesterday my eldest daughter heard a radio commercial for Rotten Ronnie's describing the addition of a healthy strawberry yogurt in their Happy Meals. With a big smile she asked if we could go there for lunch because it's "healthy" now. Yet another time mean ole Momma had to say no. Sigh... On a positive note she had a picnic for lunch featuring fresh fruit, veggies, cheese and leftover BBQ chicken in the backyard.

  5. Derek2:04 pm

    We, as a species, are doomed.

  6. Anonymous3:11 pm

    Yeah, Yeah I know... Dat be fruit though... So it be good... I gots to only add 4 mo' packets of sugar to makes it a little sweet... And it be more healthy den orange and grape soda, because them only be havin' type of fruit, and dis drink be havin' all kinds of types of fruits!

    WORD UP Mickey D's.. Good lookin' out!

  7. Sad...
    Even sadder for the people who are actually going to drink that crap!

  8. Have you seen those commercials with Nanny Robina taking mothers on a tour of McDonald's kitchens? They give their new, glowing opinion of McDonald's whole food approach (!) and how they feel good about feeding their kids Micky D's after meeting the chickens that are turned into McNuggets. After seeing that, I CAN believe this commercial. What I can't believe is that people fall for it.

  9. We were surprised when traveling in Europe that at some kid-friendly locations (e.g. buffet restaurant at Lego World), that there were no non-fizzy drink options for our kids. The choices were carbonated water (yes, most European kids do drink that but mine won't), Fanta, or Coca Cola. We couldn't even get non-carbonated water for our kids. I had to leave the restaurant and go to the water fountain outside the washrooms to fill up the kids water bottles so they could have a drink with lunch.

  10. Anonymous1:45 am

    To be fair to governmental organizations, although the food guide in Canada does ump juice in with fruit, the information the health unit doles out generously is plastered with the directive to limit juice to 1/2 cup per day, which isn't likely to make anybody obese. Now, finding a glass that small these days turned out to be a challenge...finally scored at a thrift shop.