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)