Did you get fooled by these TV ads for “healthy” food?

Thanks to Special K, Yoplait, Boost, and Jimmy Dean.


“To feel this special, you need to eat this special,” says the television commercial for Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries. “Made with whole grains and fiber to help a body thrive.”


This Special K cereal is made with more white rice than whole-grain wheat, and every one-cup serving is sweetened with about two teaspoons of added sugar.  Other Special K cereals—Chocolatey Delight and Cinnamon Pecan, for example—also have more white rice than whole grains.

In fact, Original Special K has no whole grain.

Eating a bowl of mostly white rice and sugar makes you feel special? Not us.


“Mmm,” says the family again and again in the Yoplait commercial. “Milk, fruit, cultures…Mmm, Yoplait.”


Yoplait forgot to mention the sugar. Yoplait Original yogurts now have “25% less sugar,” say the labels. But the Original Strawberry that’s featured in the TV ad has more added sugar than strawberries.

Yoplait also neglected to mention the modified corn starch, gelatin, natural flavor, pectin, and carmine (a red coloring derived from bugs).  Yummy.


“Sometimes I just don’t eat the way I should, so I drink Boost to get the nutrition that I’m missing,” says the middle-aged landscaper working outside in the television commercial for Boost Original Complete Nutritional Drink. “I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. Stay strong, stay active with Boost.”

So, let’s see if we got this right.

A perfectly healthy person who is presumably too active to eat three square meals a day needs a 240-calorie bottle of (mostly) water, corn syrup, sugar, milk-and-soy protein concentrate, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals to stay active?


If you’re healthy enough to eat, you don’t need Boost. Real food, not fortified sugar-and-protein water, is the key to staying that way.

Jimmy Dean

“Rise and shine on. And on and on and on,” says the ad for Jimmy Dean Delights Turkey Sausage, Egg White & Cheese English Muffin Made with Whole Grain. “Packed with protein and made with real ingredients,” it boasts.

True enough, the list of ingredients in this muffin does go on and on. And it’s really something.

The English muffin is mostly real white flour—it’s got only 5 grams of whole grain, admits the ad’s tiny white print. That’s maybe a fifth of the muffin. Plus, it’s got somereal high-fructose corn syrup that’s been manufactured in a factory from corn starch with acid and enzymes.

Then there’s the real egg whites (mixed with real modified tapioca starch and realcarrageenan gum to really thicken it) and real processed American cheese.

And don’t forget the real mechanically separated turkey. That’s a turkey paste produced by forcing turkey meat under high pressure through screens and filters to remove the bones and bone chips.

Jimmy Dean seasons this real turkey with real salt, sugars, phosphates, and caramel color.

We can go on and on, too. Really.

Bon Appétit!


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