Monday, November 04, 2013

The Heart and Stroke Foundation Needs International Experts To Tell Them Not to Sell Candy?

The Heart and Stroke Foundation's response to my call to action on their abysmal Health Check program has been something of a train wreck and includes this press release put out by Health Check's program manager Terry Dean.

In it he notes,
"The HSF is currently in the process of developing a comprehensive position on sugar. We will be soliciting national and international experts to provide us advice on the most recent international evidence in this area in order to develop an evidence-based position on intake, which currently does not exist in Canada."
So what exactly do the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check Registered Dietitians do for the Foundation if Health Check needs to ask for outside help to determine whether or not endorsing fruit juice gummis that are themselves 80% sugar by weight with virtually no associated nutrition is a good idea?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if your organization needs international experts to tell them selling candy as a health food is a bad idea, perhaps you might want to consider the possibility that there's something wrong with your organization's own expertise.

Oh, and for the record, it's not like any of this is news to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. I've been calling them out on their candy endorsements since as far back as March 2010.

Regarding fruit juice and fruit? This tweet from RD Bridgette Kidd sums it up quite succinctly,

The other thing Health Check tried to do on Friday was to suggest that fruit sugar gummis are simply dried fruit. They made that case via Twitter and they even linked to an article by renowned Canadian RD, author, and national columnist Leslie Beck, naming her directly, that speaks to the virtues of dried fruit.

In turn, that tweet led to this brief exchange,