Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Which is Better, Coconut Water or Coca-Cola?

Sometimes health halos are explicit whereby front-of-package claims such as, "low-fat", "gluten-free", or "organic", might lead people to consume more of the product consequent to its claim induced belief that the product is healthy and/or low cal.

Sometimes though health halos are implicit where the ingredients themselves suggest health.

Take for example the Thirsty Buddha Natural Coconut Water with Coffee. Per can it contains 260 calories and 8 teaspoons of sugar. Drop per drop, compared with Coca Cola, Thirsty Buddha's Coconut Water with Coffee packs nearly 20% more calories.

And while it's true that nutrition's about more than just calories, I'd be willing to wager that there are plenty of folks out there who'd never chug a Coke for fear of weight gain, but who might happily chug a Thirsty Buddha because the implicit promise of "Coconut Water" is that it's both low-cal and healthful.

Always read your labels!

[And if you're in Ottawa tonight and you're looking for something to do, I'll be debating Hasan Hutchinson, the Director General Health Canada's Office of Nutrition. Policy and Promotion (the department in charge of the Food Guide), on whether or not following Canada's Food Guide would lead a person to gain weight. Admission is free! More details here.]