What a shame! Thanks to a recent Nutella advertisement in France I learn that “Nutella has its fair place at breakfast, as part of a balanced diet.” What? I may have misread? I admit, my eyesight is getting worse… OK, I read the advertisement again… and still, it’s indeed written word by word…The justification? The caloric intake of a Nutella sandwich (141 kcal) is close to a butter-jam sandwich (124 kcal). Surely I must be wrong, I must have misunderstood the ad!? Third reading, third benefit of the doubt… yet, I still read the same words!
Help! Do we really live in a world in which this kind of stupid and totally phony argument may be published without sanctions?
Kind reminder 1)
Caloric intake does not say anything about the nutritional quality of food. Of course, we have a daily minimum need in calories, which – considering the amount of overweight and obese people – does not seem to be a real concern in France and the Western world (unlike in regions of the world where famine is a real problem!)
Obviously, it is the content in and the quality of macro- and micronutrient that count!
By the way, what does it mean: 141 kcal (Nutella sandwich) versus 124 kcal (butter-jam sandwich)? Is it a lot, is it little? For whom, a child, an adult? In short, with regards to a healthy and balanced nutrition (to re-use the expression in the ad), it means nothing! Plainly speaking, it’s bulls ***!
Kind reminder 2)
Another bad news, sensitive readers and traditionalists please abstain from further reading:
Just because something is a habit and a tradition does not make something automatically a healthy food choice. Comparing a potentially harmful option (Nutella sandwich) with another unhealthy choice (butter-jam sandwich) is nonsense! So, yes, I’m going to sacrifice the beloved butter-jam sandwich on the table of (un)-healthy eating…
Clearly, a butter-jam sandwich is not a balanced choice – thanks to industrial processes and the modern food chain. Guess how many nutrients remain after the industrial process of making bread, butter, jam? Unfortunately little!
Kind reminder 3)
You want to obtain the caloric equivalent of a small breakfast sandwich (125 – 150 kcal)? Eating a large banana (100gr) will give you 363 kcal. (Okay, it depends on the time between harvest and consumption and the ripeness of the banana at harvest)… A large beer can (363 kcal) anyone? Or maybe, say, a glass of vodka (100 kcal) – Source Database USDA (the same one used by Nutella). What do calories tell you about balanced eating? Right: precisely nothing!
Looking for sincerely healthy options for a equilibrated breakfast? Chia porridge, banana pancakes with, green smoothies, green juices, homemade granola… the list is endless, and this suggestions come including gourmandise, pleasure, easy preparation, and well-being. It’s possible. And the icing on the cake: loss of overweight, vitality, radiant complexion etc.
Another interesting feature of this advertisement is the absence of the mention: “For your health, avoid eating too much fat, too sweet, too salty. “. It is interesting to observe – or dare I say brilliant – that Nutella uses another mandatory mention “For your health, practice regular physical activity.” Oh right, I almost forgot that “avoid eating too much fat, too sweet” equals avoid consuming Nutella …
My point – it is always the same – is simple: eat what you want! But understand what you eat and take ownership of your choice (= hence own the consequences too)! Actually, this is where to whole problem lies: taking ownership! Fatigue, overweight, digestive problems, more serious health issues – they all have a cause, and consuming unhealthy food is one of them!
Hence, indulge in Nutella as much as it pleases you, give it to your children, for the good reasons: the addictive taste, “it’s comforting”, it’s practical, a cheap way to fill a stomach, not being concerned with the future health of my child, I don’t care about exposing my child to a healthy lifestyle…
No problem … But remember that such a food item is not good for the human body (not to say harmful). It may be time to become an adult and take ownership for our choices and acts!
Getting back to Nutella and the Ferrero company: Nutella (like many other processed foods) = processed ingredients, too much sugar, too much fat. Zero nutritional interest!
Making believe that Nutella has a place in a balanced diet is a terribly false statement, irresponsible marketing, misleading advertising and ethically deplorable! It also shows the extent to which CSR (corporate social responsibility) is absent and treated pitifully. Deliberately misleading consumers, who – unfortunately – know little about nutrition, in order to sell a jar full of fat and sugar is scandalous!
Having said that, a little treat for the end … already in 1936 an advertisement in Life Magazine for Camel cigarettes seriously stated “For digestion’s sake – smoke Camels”. So yes, we have come a long way – even though at a very slow pace and with too many casualties on the road…
©The Vibrant Factory
About Stefan Lehner: Executive coach, Life coach, as well as nutrition coach & educator based in Paris, available worldwide. He previously worked in management in an international corporation. He loves to explore with the client his or her emotions, thoughts and limiting belief patterns, in order to shift towards a renewed outlook and jeopardizing his or her old certitudes. His credo in all coaching situations is empowerment and taking responsibility: become responsible for one owns choices, desires and acts.