Nutella Truck’s Breakfast Tour Promotes a Not So Healthy Breakfast

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Nutella for breakfast? What kind of nutty idea is that?

Well a Nutella truck is crisscrossing the country through December 15, dishing out samples of the chocolate hazelnut spread as part of a twelve-city “breakfast tour.” Nutella USA says the spread contains no artificial flavors or preservatives, just a “wholesome” combination of hazelnuts, sugar skim milk, and “a hint of cocoa.”

Healthland finds the road trip surprising, especially after Ferrero, the company that makes the Italian hazelnut spread, settled a $3 million false advertising lawsuit in April; a California mom sued Ferrero in February 2011 for spreading the idea, through TV ads and labeling, that Nutella was a balanced, nutritious breakfast.

Nutella still maintains that the spread, “when used in moderation with complementary foods,” can be part of a balanced breakfast and a way to encourage kids to eat heart-healthy whole grains. For instance, a photo on the company’s Facebook page shows an English muffin with a smear of Nutella and strawberries on top. On the one hand, Nutella might have a point; eating dessert with breakfast actually helped low-calorie dieters in a Tel Aviv University study lose weight by keeping them satisfied, Healthland reported in June.

That being said, 1 serving (2 tablespoons) of Nutella contains 200 calories, 11g of a fat — 3.5g of which is saturated fat — and 21g of sugar, so Healthland certainly would not recommend eating something so high in fat and sugar for breakfast every day. Nutella is one of the many foods that, at first glance, looks like it contains just a few simple ingredients, but can actually pack on the pounds if not consumed sparingly.

As the food movement grows, corporations are increasingly trying to make their foods seem as healthy as possible. And the lack of an FDA guideline for the use of the word “natural” on food labels means that it is easy for companies to stretch the truth. This summer, for instance, two California mothers sued General Mills for marketing its Nature Valley granola products as “natural,” when the snacks actually contained three ingredients that are not natural, like sweeteners high fructose corn syrup, high maltose corn syrup, and maltodextrin, according to a July 26th New York Times article.

So if the Nutella truck shows up near you, treat the free sample as a dessert. But don’t call it breakfast.

8 comments
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Journey
Journey

The French, Swiss, Spanish and Italians have been eating chocolate and sugary items for breakfast for centuries, and Hazelnuts are nutritious; so what if they contain fat and carbs? That what real food HAS it in!

In fact chocolate custard, or a chocolate filled croissant is a common breakfast food for French children, and Italians eat custard filled cornettos.  Yet Europeans don't have the same obesity rates as the US and UK where they are obsessed with avoiding fat in foods, or going on ridiculous diets. If you don't eat fat you feel hungry and get cravings, and then binge habits begin to surface.

Vivi
Vivi

When is too much of anything ever okay? IF chocolate is healthy then everyone would be eating chocolate bars for breakfast and not whole grain bread and a glass of milk. A sugary breakfast will only cause one to crash quickly during the day. 

Kimsbenn
Kimsbenn

Try the crunchy, it's great! I use it on peanut butter sandwiches instead of jelly when I need a meal to last a long stretch. I'm size 2, 5'5", and very healthy. Moderation people!

DwDunphy
DwDunphy

It is not the truth that shocks. I think everyone knows the truth deep down but are shocked when it is exposed en masse because of the fear of looking poorly for having indulged. I totally get this. I used to eat huge tablespoons of peanut butter and chugged whole milk like it was water. I knew it was fattening, but it took widespread reportage to shake the cobwebs out of my brain enough to say, "That's why I'M gaining weight."

Of course moderation is a key factor in all this, but calling something that is an out-and-out desert a "wholesome and nutritious" product is deception. Only, those deceived really know it already; they're happy to be deceived provided there isn't a public revelation that makes them look bad.

kakatonga
kakatonga

I'm Italian and I assure you're not gonna die eating Nutella for breakfast. Millions of Italian people do that every morning and they don't get fat for that. Spread Nutella on your bread for breakfast (in moderation) and eat one less Big Mac for dinner: your health will thank you!

rihannk
rihannk

Whatever happened to common sense?  Chocolate is not healthy but it's great in moderation and everybody agrees on this.   I love Nutella on a croissant with a cup of coffee for breakfast!  I don't eat four of these, I eat one.  The article is right - there is something very positive to start your day (and not every day!) with chocolate spread.  It makes me happy.  If I over indulge and eat two croissants with Nutella, I cycle twice as far.  Read the labels people, that's where you get information from!  Marketers, like politicians will only focus on one or two attributes that suit them and will not tell you the whole truth.  "Don't be gullible, READ!"  That's what I would have told the suing Californian mom!

BluBlue
BluBlue

Don't care:

Nutella is what I'll eat 24/7 in my proverbial afterlife.