Today, on her Food Politics blog, New York University’s Dr. Marion Nestle shares some of interesting samples and materials her New York University nutrition department colleagues brought back from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ annual conference (FNCE).
We like Dr. Nestle’s description of the FNCE expo as “the latest in dietetic junk food and food company nutritional spin,” and her parenthetical remarks accompanying each item make this a fun read.
- “Functional foods (with “healthy” ingredients above and beyond what occurs naturally)”
- “For Keurig brewing machines, a container of Fibersol Cran-Raspberry flavored instant tea mix, with soluble fiber added (is tea really a significant source of soluble fiber?).”
- “MealEnders.com’s chocolate mint signaling lozenges, “an antidote to overeating.” If you feel that you are overeating, suck on one: “take control, curb appetite, get results” (if only).”
- “A 6-ounce can of Kao Nutrition’s black coffee with 270 mg polyphenol (coffee chlorogenic acid), naturally present because the coffee was not brewed at high temperature (well, coffee is a plant extract, after all).”
- “A brochure from PepsiCo’s Nutrition Team, HydrateNow. Gatorade, it points out, is 93% water (and the other 7%, pray tell?).”
- “A pamphlet from PepsiCo on Calorie Balance: “many things influence your everyday nutrition. For maintaining a healthy weight, the most important factors are how many calories you eat and the total calories you use up” (but if those calories happen to be empty?).”
- “A pamphlet on National School Beverage Guidelines sponsored by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dr Pepper Snapple, and the American Beverage Association: “The beverage industry committed to bold change and then made it happen. Working with our school partners, we transformed the beverages available to students” (yes, but it doesn’t explain that public pressure forced them to do this).”
Mind you, this represents just a small sampling of the ever-present industry spin. The most disturbing part is that, by and large, the Academy doesn’t see a problem with its constituents receiving this sort of information at the annual conference.