Coke and Kraft Singles Are Health Foods? Some Nutritionists Endorse Them

Photo (cc) by JeepersMedia

Who wants kale chips and coconut water when you can down a mini Coke and a few Kraft singles? After all, they’re all health foods, right? Some nutrition experts seem to think so.

Last month, in honor of American Heart Month, several fitness and nutrition experts wrote posts, which appeared on major newspaper sites and nutritional blogs, recommending a mini-can of Coke or other small soda for a snack, The Associated Press reports.

Coca-Cola is one of many big food companies that pay experts to mention or endorse their products in online posts or other media outlets. Coke spokesman Ben Sheidler told the AP it’s a common food industry practice, though he declined to disclose how much his company pays “experts.”

“We have a network of dietitians we work with. Every big brand works with bloggers or has paid talent,” he said.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which represents 75,000 registered dietitians and other nutrition professionals, recently gave Kraft Singles (the bright yellow processed cheese slices) a thumbs up to use its new “Kids Eat Right” nutrition label, The New York Times said. It’s the first product to bear the seal, and the first time the academy has endorsed a product.

Kraft Singles is an interesting choice, especially considering “Kraft is a frequent target of advocates for better children’s nutrition, who contend that many of its products are overprocessed, with too much fat, sodium, sugar, artificial dyes and preservatives,” the Times reports.

The academy told the Times that the label is not an endorsement of the processed cheese product. Academy executive director Mary Beth Whalen said in an email statement:

“The Kids Eat Right logo on Kraft Singles packaging identifies the brand as a proud supporter of Kids Eat Right. It also serves to drive broader visibility to KidsEatRight.org, a trusted educational resource for consumers,” she wrote.

Nutrition experts recommending Coke as a healthy snack and endorsing Kraft Singles in an eating right campaign aimed at young people has left many people questioning whether health experts are selling out to the food industry.

It’s why the Dietitians for Professional Integrity was formed. The organization said it does “not support the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ current sponsorship model.”

“We believe these sponsorships pose a serious conflict of interest for a nutrition organization and harm dietetics professionals’ credential and reputations,” it went on to explain.

Marion Nestle, Ph.d, M.P.H., a professor with the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at NYU, recently expressed her dismay at Kraft earning the Kids Eat Right logo on her Food Politics blog:

Kraft is well-known as a sponsor of [the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics]. Such seals are usually money-raising gimmicks.

I’m wondering if “proud supporter of” means that Kraft pays AND for use of this seal. If so, I’d like to know what the seal costs.

Clearly, some food companies are paying nutrition experts to endorse their products. It’s smart marketing for them. I think the bigger issue is that the academy, a trusted organization of nutrition experts, is taking part, potentially misleading many consumers into thinking not-so-healthy food products are good for you.

What do you think of some dietitians cozy relationship with big food companies? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Hobbies That Help You Live Longer
7 Hobbies That Help You Live Longer

Research shows some hobbies can add years — or even decades — to your life.

7 Reasons You Should Not Claim Social Security Early
7 Reasons You Should Not Claim Social Security Early

The sooner you claim your Social Security retirement benefits, the more you — and perhaps also your spouse — stand to lose. Here are the stakes.

7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors

These accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

5 Ways to Put an End to Junk Mail
5 Ways to Put an End to Junk Mail

Here’s how to keep unwanted mail from clogging your mailbox and trash can.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

Prices Are Soaring on These 7 Items
Prices Are Soaring on These 7 Items

Some surprise price jumps are making life more difficult for consumers.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

7 Home Improvements That Cost a Lot More in 2021
7 Home Improvements That Cost a Lot More in 2021

These projects will take a bigger bite out of your budget than in the recent past.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.