In a report by our colleagues at the Rudd Center, General Mills’ Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks ranked in the bottom half of snack foods based on overall nutritional quality, but led as the snack food brand with the most TV advertising to children.
Fruit snacks are marketed a healthy option. Although they are commonly called fruit snacks, they’re basically candy. Fruit juice concentrate is just fruit sugars stripped of all the good nutrition of fruit. Fruit juice concentrate is to fruit as high fructose corn syrup is to a fresh ear of corn.
While candies, or fruit snacks, can fit into a healthy diet
when consumed as occasional treats, kids don’t need encouragement to eat more
of them. Child obesity rates are at
extremely high levels. Though a number
of factors contribute to child obesity and children’s poor diets, food
marketing is an important one. The
Institute of Medicine found that food advertising affects children’s food
choices, food purchase requests, diets, and health. Given that what kids eat can affect lifelong
eating habits, the last thing kids need is more encouragement to eat candy.
Please join us today in sending a message to General Mills (Betty
Crocker’s parent company) to ask them to stop advertising Betty Crocker Fruit
Snacks to kids 14 and under.