Target: Dr. Stephen Ostroff, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
Goal: Prevent smoothies with over six teaspoons of sugar from being labeled with “healthy” adjectives such as nutritious, natural, or fat-free.
More than half smoothies and frappes labeled with healthy adjectives actually have more calories than a Big Mac, according to recent findings by LiveLighter, an Australian organization dedicated to encourage healthy living. Labeling such as healthy, nutritious, natural, and fat-free misleads consumers and makes them think they are getting a product that is good for them.
The World Health Organization recommends a daily intake of only six teaspoons of added sugar. Gloria Jeans labels their Mango Fruzie as 98 percent fat-free, but it is a whopping 514 calories and contains 31 teaspoons of sugar. Naked Juice recently removed the phrases “all natural” and “non-GMO” from their labels when it was found they used GMO soy products and synthetic fibers and sweeteners in their product. The phrase “Pure Fruit” still appears on the label, however, and this is arguably equally misleading to consumers.
Other smoothies and juices are designed to be consumed as meals and are labeled as nutritious or protein-packed yet fail to mention they contain anywhere between 15 and 30 teaspoons of sugar. Consumers believe these smoothies only contain healthy ingredients, but instead, daily intake of these products increase the risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
The problem with labeling these drinks as fat-free is that consuming animal and vegetable fats does not cause as significant weight gain as consuming carbohydrates. The body does not need insulin to process fats, but it does require a significant amount of insulin to process carbohydrates, and the more carbohydrates in our blood means the more insulin we secrete to process the carbs. Furthermore, the more insulin we secrete, the more fat we store in our bodies because insulin also regulates fat metabolism.
Sign the petition below to urge the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration to disallow “healthy” labeling on sugary smoothies, thus allowing consumers to make more informed decisions about their caloric intake.
Dear Dr. Ostroff,
One third of Americans are classified as obese, and as a result the market is flooded with foods and drinks that claim to be healthy. A recent study conducted by LiveLighter found that over half the smoothies and juices tested contain more calories than a Big Mac, yet are labeled with healthy adjectives such as nutritious, protein packed, natural, or fat-free. This type of labeling is intentionally misleading, causing consumers to think they are making healthy choices, while really they are consuming up to five times the daily sugar intake recommended by the World Health Organization.
Consuming an amount of sugar significantly higher than the recommended quantity on a regular basis can not only lead to obesity, but it can also put consumers at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. McDonalds was compelled to begin labeling its food with nutrition facts in order to urge its customers to make informed decisions. The members of the food industry that sell smoothies with a noteworthy quantity of sugar should also make the nutritional facts of their product clear and avoid using misleading healthy adjectives.
I am urging you to prevent establishments in the food industry from labeling high-sugar drinks with nutritious, natural, or fat-free. Please take actions to enforce policies that encourage consumers to make informed decisions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: HealthyFoodImages