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Health Claims On Junk Foods Are Dangerous

Health claims on junk foods are dangerous because people believe the claims and then mistake the product for "healthy" or even for "real food." 

These are some of my favorite ridiculous health claims on food items.  All of these items are in my kitchen right now because my roommate is a junk-food-junkie, and I have copied this stuff directly off the labels:

* Cheetos: "0 Grams Trans Fat" and "Made With Real Cheese". There are few "foods" on the planet that are less healthy than Cheetos, and for that fact, they should be banned from making any health claims whatsoever.

* Jif peanut butter: "Reduced Fat", "25% less fat than peanut butter", "fresh roasted peanut taste", "60% peanuts", "Choosy Moms Choose Jif." I find this particularly insidiuous because real peanuts and peanut butter are healthy, while Jif Reduced Fat contains fillers, corn syrup, and hydrogenated oil. Someone could easily mistake Jif for a healthy food.

*Pop Tarts: "Good Source of 7 Vitamins and Minerals." "Made for Fun", "Good Source of 4 B Vitamins", "Cholesterol Free", "0g Trans Fat."  This is NOT a healthy food, not a good source of any nutrients, and only a source of empty calories, no matter what health claims they put on it.

*Chef Boyardee: "Good Stuff Inside: 1/2 cup of vegetables per serving, Good source of 7 vitamins and minerals, Good source of Protein." "35% of daily grains, 20% of daily vegetables." Tomatoes are only a vegetable as determined by the US Supreme Court for tax purposes. I suppose the FDA adopted the definition. A person could think Chef Boyardee is a good source of vegetables, which is really sad.

* Lots of seasoning products: "No MSG" (usually followed by a star and small print) and "All Natural": It contains no Monosodium Glutamate per se, but the ingredients contain "hidden" MSG, such as hydrolyzed, autolyzed, or modified yeast, starch, etc.  This one is trickier, but this is why people should not eat "food" that has ingredients they cannot identify. 

That's just what I had off the top of my head and in the front of my pantry. It's so, so, so incredibly sad. People may not recognize this stuff as junk because of all the health claims on the labels. The ingredients lists, however, tell a tale of nutritionally bankrupt, processed, non-food disgustingness.
PrincessAstrid PrincessAstrid 31-35, F 2 Responses Oct 5, 2011

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Yeah, I agree, a lot of the health claims are so ridiculous. My philosophy, the less ingredients (and the ones without ingredients I can't pronounce), the better.

I don't think some of those are really 'health claims', but more advertising than anything. They don't actually say whether these modifications are 'healthy' or not, so it's really up to the individual to determine what's healthy for them, and what is not. Which in a way, is kind of misleading, because companies can advertise whatever they want, and technically, they aren't lying to you. So if you don't know any better, you could be fooled.