Don’t Believe the Hype: False Nutritional Advertising

Don’t Believe the Hype: False Nutritional Advertising

Creative, colorful food labels are designed to catch your eye and sometimes trick you into purchasing a product. Unfortunately, due to lenient FDA rules, many products can get away with false nutritional advertising so you think you’re buying something healthy when in fact it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Don’t believe the hype of false nutritional advertising and learn how to pick your products in a responsible, open-eyed manner. All it takes is a little know-how and you can finally break the chains of corporate manipulation that have long since had this country traveling down a nutritional rabbit hole which only leads to darkness.

Padded Nutritional Research

Many studies contradict one another. For instance, some will prove the debilitating effects of processed sugar on the body while others show beneficial results. This is the recent case of how soda and candy companies shape nutritional science as reported by the Associated Press (6/2/16).

Hidden funding from special interests correlate with findings from studies that include:

“Children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who don’t.” Financed by makers of Butterfingers, Hershey and Skittles.

“Hot oatmeal breakfast keeps you fuller for longer,” declared a Daily Mail article on a study funded by Quaker Oats.

“Study: Diet beverages better for losing weight than water,” said a CBS Denver story about research funded by Coke and Pepsi’s lobbying group.

The New York Times even reported that,

“Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories.”

This indirect research is then published everywhere and anywhere alongside Coco-Cola ads and a would-be consumer becomes subliminally “educated” in the hopes they will reach for this product without any health fear.

Scientific Fronts 

You may come across or search for valid scientific evidence when it comes to your nutritional choices. Chances are you will find a list of studies from what seem like reputable sources so you can feel like the responsibly informed consumer.

This is the case with James O. Hill, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine who, along with several other prominent researchers, seemed to make a deal with the devil. These researchers claimed they started the company called The Global Energy Balance Network because “the public and many scientists largely overlooked physical inactivity as a cause of obesity” and they wanted to raise awareness “about both sides of the energy balance equation.”

Author Marion Nestle of the controversial book “Soda Politics” comments,

“The Global Energy Balance Network is nothing but a front group for Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola’s agenda here is very clear: Get these researchers to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake.”

Also, as result of a request of the Freedom of Information Act,

“the University of South Carolina disclosed that Dr. Blair  [one of Dr. Hill’s counterparts] had received more than $3.5 million in funding from Coke for research projects since 2008.”

There is also the The American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which, behind their prestigious sounding title has been criticized as being supported by Big Food Corp. companies such as Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Hershey’s.

See Through the Vail

The simple rule of thumb is that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Don’t let product labeling or studies mislead you visually as well as through trumped up claims. Try some of these tactics to make sure you actual purchase is something with valid nutritional merit.

  • Inspect – Read the ingredients. You should immediately be able to tell if natural advertising is backed up by natural sources.
  • Avoid – Processed foods are the most misleading products. This is because manipulated, canned, packaged choices are usually the furthest from natural. Avoid them.
  • Eat Live – Eat as many raw or minimally prepared, live, organic fruits and vegetables. These never need labeling other than organic which in some cases isn’t even necessary.
  • Don’t Kid Yourself – It’s easy to rationalize that you are getting a healthy dose of fruit even though you are eating it out of a container filled with sugary syrup. Don’t be fooled by packaged foods which look natural.


Stay vigilant when purchasing foods that may use misleading advertising to take advantage of your good intentions. The more people that do this, the more chances higher quality manufacturing can prevail.