Nutella? Bad for your diet?

by Walter Olson on February 4, 2011

A class action plaintiff is shocked at the discovery. [ABA Journal, WSJ Law Blog] And a contrasting view: Max Kennerly. More: Stephen Richer, WLF.

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Litigation and Trial
02.08.11 at 11:42 am
PointOfLaw Forum
02.10.11 at 3:57 am

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1 No Name Guy 02.04.11 at 7:23 pm

Actually, the stuff is quite good for the diet….especially if one is engaged in extended strenuous physical activities.

The high fat content is a requirement to be able to put down sufficient calories when one burns through 5,000 to 6,000 a day. Lots of long distance hikers (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, etc) go through the stuff by the spoonful.

Looking at the nutrition info on the wiki page for it (Nutella), the US version is 1950 calories for a 13 ounce jar – only 150 calories an ounce (28 grams).

By way of comparison, “Healthy” olive oil per
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/509/2
is 248 calories per ounce (28 grams).

And peanut butter, that staple of many a kids diet (how many PBJ’s did you eat? or PB on toast?)

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4366/2

165 calories per ounce (28 grams).

I guess the plaintiff had better sue peanut butter and olive oil makers as well as their eeeeevil corporate pushers. Then again, perhaps the plaintiff needs remedial reading for her functional illiteracy – since she’s obviously incapable of understanding a label.

2 Robert 02.04.11 at 7:57 pm

You know how many jars of Nutella probably sold today because of this news item! Now all I can think of is a Nutella sandwich and a glass of milk.

3 kimsch 02.04.11 at 9:09 pm

My 16 y/o son made a Nutella and Fluff sandwich for lunch today (his school is still out for the SnOMG blizzard of 2011 – 10 y/o went to school today).

4 Gale 02.04.11 at 10:34 pm

Oh, yeah! All the Nutella advertising talks about how natural it is and how it’s part of a balanced breakfast and generally makes it sound really healthy. Only in reality the stuff has as much sugar than frosting! Which explains why it tastes just like frosting with a nutty twang. It is however healthier frosting than frosting, because it has some nutrients, and less trans fats (I think no trans fats, actually…but I’d have to check the label.) And that’s exactly what I use it for. Cup-cake frosting. But I’ve been tempted to not buy it even for that because I hate how deceptive their advertising is.

5 Bumper 02.05.11 at 3:37 am

Damn shame that Congress didn’t put its foot down and require labels on the outside of the jar so people could see the composition of the contents before they bought it and consumed it.

Oh, they did. Never mind.

6 culdesachero 02.06.11 at 12:05 am

They seem to be implying that the average person defines healthy as low-calorie (i.e. weight loss) food. Of course, nothing with calories could be healthy. I bet they’re trolling rejects for reality weight-loss shows for clients.

7 Max Kennerly 02.08.11 at 11:40 am

Thanks for the link. Two additional thoughts:

First, Nutella really walked themselves into this one with their new advertising campaign. Their defense is pretty obvious – “we only said it was part of a balanced breakfast, not that it was healthy per se”– but that just sets them up for another issue. If I was the plaintiffs’ attorney, I would listen to that response and then ask, “all right, so what part of the balance does Nutella add?”

Second, I think most consumers would be surprised to learn that the product is 75% sugar and palm oil. I never thought the thing was healthy, but I thought it was primarily hazelnuts and milk products, which is how the advertisement describes it. But it’s not: it is almost entirely sugar and palm oil with a tiny amount of hazelnuts, milk product, and chocolate added for flavoring. That, to me, is disturbing in light of their advertising and labels.

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