Misleading labels lure many into buying health food fakes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Misleading labels lure many into buying health food fakes

Don't let a misleading label lure you into buying a health food fake.

According to a consumer watchdog group, there are seven foods that a consumer watchdog said mislead and trick consumers into buying them.

From the snack aisle to the frozen food section, it seems just about every kind of food holds the secret to better health.

But that secret, says the Center For Science In The Public Interest, is more about hefty profits than healthier products.

"You could go through the grocery store and find dozens of other examples of foods that don't deliver on what they promise," said Bonnie Leibman, nutrition director with the CSPI.

According to Leibman, product labels for Real Fruit and Juice in Gerber's Graduate Treats For Toddlers, Smucker's Simply Fruit, and Sara Lee's Fruits Of The Forest Deep Dish Pie deliver more fructose and sugary juices than the real fruit.

In letters to NBC affiliate KNSD in San Diego, Gerber declined to comment, while Sara Lee called the CSPI's statement false, saying, "The product does not contain more sugar than fruit filling." Smucker's did not respond.

Frito-Lay's Multi-grain Tostitos, and Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Eggo pancakes are criticized by the CSPI for lacking enough whole wheat or grains.

Mark Kern, a nutrition analyst at San Diego State University said, "The key here is it says 'made with whole wheat and whole grain' -- that doesn't mean it has to be all whole grain as the grain source in the food."

Frito-Lay, says their chips contain more than 16 grams of four different types of whole grains. But when it comes to the Kellogg's cereal, the company did not deny the CSPI findings.

"We say our product has the 'taste' of berries and we highlight the 'creaminess' of yogurt, not it's digestive benefits-- our label accurately describes the product," said Kellogg's.

"It definitely has some phrases that might be misleading--to make you think it's a healthier choice than it is," according to Kern.

As for drinks, Coca-Cola's energy drink Enviga was singled out by CSPI for its claim to burn calories and control weight, with no long-term studies to back it up.

The company responded in this way: "This latest effort is designed to draw press attention to CSPI and yet again, ignore the broad science which support Enviga's claim."

Food companies can get away with terms like wholesome or whole grain goodness, because they don't claim to cure or treat any disease.

You can still buy healthy food without being had, according to the experts. Just follow these tips. Forget the big words and go straight to the fine print.

Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables-- or foods that don't need labels.

Powered by Frankly