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Food & Beverage Manufacturers Continue to Bamboozle Consumers about their Products

A recent study performed by the Prevention Institute concluded that more than 50 percent of the food and beverage products on the market with fruit pictured on their packaging actually have little to no fruit at all in the ingredients list.

The Prevention Institute, which is a non-profit community health advocacy group in California conducted a survey of 37 heavily marketed foods with fruit on the packaging and found that 51 percent contained no fruit at all.

In addition, another 16 percent contained minimal amounts of fruit (10 percent or less). The other 33 percent did have an acceptable amount of fruit, but they also high amounts of sugar as well.

Both Juicy Fruit Gum and Froot Loops cereal were found to have no fruit in them at all.

Situations such as these raise concerns regarding product packaging that misleads consumers.

“The packages might lead a parent to believe (these products) are a healthier option for their children, when many do not actually deliver any of the nutritional benefits of whole fruit,” wrote the authors of the study.

This unfortunately is nothing new. Food & beverage manufacturers have been misleading consumers for years about their products.

What’s different now and congruently worse, is that now these misleading companies have a new target market…children. The Institute of Medicine reports an estimated $10 billion in marketing is spent yearly on products such as these. In 2005, Advertising Age magazine reported an average of  $7.2 billion being spent in mass media advertising, meaning there was a 4 percent increase in 1 year.

Take Gatorade for example; while they may not be putting pictures of fruit on their labels, they market the product to children & adults as something that healthy people such as athletes should drink to replenish themselves.

Next time you’re in the supermarket, pick up a bottle of Gatorade and read the ingredients. This stuff is loaded with junk like high fructose corn syrup and sugar.

Here’s my advice. Next time you want something fruit flavored, try some organic fruit. Nothing comes closer to the taste of real fruit than, well…real fruit.

There are some manufactures out there that do actually contain 100 % fruit juice. Two of which include Juicy Juice and Capri Sun Fruit Waves.

My recommendation for drinks will always be water. Water forms the basis for all body fluids, including blood and digestive juices as well as aids the transportation and absorption of nutrients. It also helps eliminate waste.

Overall, an estimated $10 billion in marketing is spent yearly, according to a 2006 report by the Institute of Medicine. For comparison, according to a year-end advertising industry report by Advertising Age magazine, in 2005 the food and beverage industry spent $7.2 billion in mass media advertising, up nearly 4 percent from the previous year.

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