The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Big Food partners like to claim they offer many “healthful options” that consumers can choose from. This conveniently ignores that, by and large, food companies spend the bulk of their advertising dollars on their least healthy — and most cost-effective — products.
That aside, the myth of “healthy processed food” needs to be addressed. In this article for US News & World Report, Pandora’s Lunchbox author Melanie Warner explores this issue.
As she explains, “while not all aspects of food processing are problematic, there are some industrial processes that unquestionably are. And sometimes it’s the cumulative effect of many manipulations that make processed food a nutritional disaster”.
Warner goes on to say:
“I’m not saying that it’s impossible to create healthy processed food. But there are real limitations on what packaged food manufacturers like Pepsi, General Mills, ConAgra and Kellogg’s can do. That’s why examples of “healthy” processed supermarket foods are often laughable – Baked Lays, vitaminwater, Keebler Right Bites cookies, Rice Krispies, and most infamously, Froot Loops.”
It’s especially troublesome when dietitians applaud healthwashed efforts and give them a stamp of approval. In a sense, partnering with the food industry has turned the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics into that overly permissive teacher who desperately wants to be “liked” by a classroom of students and ends up having no authority. The fact that Big Food and fast food giants feel so comfortable and embraced by a national nutrition organization raises a huge red flag.