Is this item as healthy as its claimed to be?

We’ve all been there…we see a product on the supermarket shelf that markets itself as healthy so we put in the basket and feel good for making the right choice.

I’ve seen a few of these of late; the breakfast cereals with the added Vitamin D, the box of Tea Bags with the extra Vitamin B6, the list goes on, but what grinds my gears a little is the way they market these products to the unsuspecting public.

Maybe I’m being a little too harsh but marketing has become a bit of a buzzword of late. Having Vitamin claims in BIG BOLD letters right on the front of the packet can be a tad misleading if you don’t know what you’re looking for on the back of the packet under ‘nutritional information’.

For any company that markets its product with extra vitamins and minerals, they have to include a ‘Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) as part of the nutritional information label.  NRVs are based on levels of nutrients associated with nutrient requirements.  The good news for consumers is that not only does it have to represent the included dosage but they also have to represent this as a percentage of Recommended Daily Intake.  So if you have an NRV of 11% then the likely dosage isn’t going to be great…

BUT

This is where the marketing machine gets to work because they can and will promote their product on the basis that its healthy for you and sometimes in a misleading fashion.  I would ask therefore that if you see a product marketed as healthy, just take a few moments to look at the nutrition label on the back, because chances are you paying inflated prices for minimum health benefits.

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3 thoughts on “Is this item as healthy as its claimed to be?

  1. I always grin when I see like fitness bars with a healthy label. Then read the nutrition label and see it has dextrose, maple syrup, grains etc in it. Or cereal that with lots of vitamins! Good eating for the kids. That’s just really irresponsible and greedy marketing.

  2. Not to mention you can actually get too much of a certain vitamin if you are eating fortified foods plus taking vitamins at home! I agree, it’s ridiculous to think drinking flavored water is good for you because the package says so.

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