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Mom Sues Nutella Over Nutrition Claims

It sounds like a no-brainer: A chocolate spread can’t possibly be healthy, can it? Yet, a California woman claims to have been deceived by the commercials for Nutella, the European chocolate hazelnut spread.

Athena Hohenberg says that she was “shocked to learn that Nutella was in fact, not ‘healthy, nutritious’ food, but instead was the next best thing to a candy bar.” She also claims that she had no idea that Nutella contains dangerous level of saturated fat – more than half of the 200 calories per 2 Tablespoon serving comes from fat.

Sold by Ferraro, Nutella has been profiled in commercials and online as a savior for busy moms everywhere, to help their children eat a more balanced diet. The commercial indicates that moms can “nourish their children with whole grains” and says that “Nutella can form a part of a balanced meal.” On the Nutella website, there is a section for nutrition, touting the importance of breakfast for starting your day in a healthy manner. There are studies listed that discuss the success of children in school who eat breakfast daily, and Nutella is suggested as a companion to whole wheat toast, milk and a bowl of sliced strawberries.

Hohenberg is suing the company, looking to have moneys returned to anyone who purchased the product. “Nutella was worth less than what plaintiff and members of the class paid for them,” she says, adding that she hopes to turn the lawsuit into a class action suit. Under the terms of the class action suit, Hohenberg would like to have any monetary judgment against the company be divided among “all persons who purchased on or after January 2000 one or more Nutella products in the United States for their own or household use.”

The plaintiff also requests that Ferraro create new commercial spots, correcting their fraudulent claims.

By simply reading the label, one would probably deduce that Nutella is not exactly healthy. With sugar as the first ingredient, this means that Nutella contains more sugar than anything else. The list is completed with palm oil,  hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.  It is listed as having more than 200 calories in a serving, 100 Calories from fat, 11g fat (3.5g of which are saturated), 21 grams of sugar and 3g protein.

Don’t fall for false advertising claims. Read labels – they are there for a reason, after all – and do your own investigating.

via Yahoo! News

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February 9th, 2011