It really gets me upset the way corporations purposely mislead the public to sell their products. I discussed one example a while back in my post about Disney Princesses and Marvel Superhero children's multivitamins. The was a specific example, but with this article I wanted to discuss a form of misleading marketing that is more wide-spread: The use of "No Sugar Added." or "Sugar Free" on product labels. With so much of the public trying to maintain healthy lifestyles, companies have tried to alter or re-market their products as healthy while giving people the flavor (i.e. sweetness) they secretly crave. It's all about sales, baby. And while supply meeting demand is a good thing in theory, when you add unscrupulousness corporations into the mix, you end up with deceptively marketed products. That is why so many products you find labeled as "no sugar added" contains one of the following sugar substitutes:
- Aspartame - Equal or NutraSweet
- Acesulfame K, also known as acesulfame potassium - Sunett and Sweet One.
- Sugar alcohols - sorbitol, xylitol or maltitol
- Saccharin - Sweet'N Low
- Sucralose - Splenda
I am not about to start debating with you about whether these items are good, bad or the devil incarnate. Conspiracy theories abound, and no one really trusts what the FDA says so getting to the truth of the matter is nearly impossible. What I will say is that, as a parent, I try to avoid giving my children unnatural (i.e. chemically produced) products, and it irritates the hell out of me when companies deceptively market products such as these to kids. I cannot tell you how many people I know who have gotten fooled by this marketing, and even though so many of us do know what's happening, no one seems to want to call the corporations out for it. Why? Because of the ingredients list on the back of the package, but most of us don't have the time to check the packaging of everything we eat, and the corporations know it. That's where I come in. :)
For the sake of journalism, I took a walk around my local grocery store and photographed some examples to illustrate my point. Yes, I looked like a fool and people stared. That's how committed I am, or should be committed... whatever.
So here goes...
Sugar Free Jello Pudding - Contains xylitol, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose
Del Monte - Mandarin Oranges (No sugar added) - Contains sorbitol, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose
Del Monte - No Sugar Added Sliced Pears - Contains acesulfame potassium, and sucralose
Nesquick - Chocolate (No sugar added) - Contains acesulfame potassium, and sucralose
Always, always, always check the labels of the products you buy. It's a pain in the neck, but totally worth it in the long run. I hope some of you have found this helpful. If you know anyone who might benefit from this information, please pass it along. Thanks!
Tell me what you think or add to the discussion in the comments section below.