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Nutella A Health Food?

May 2nd, 2012

Photo credit: Flickr user roboppy via Creative Commons

You’ve probably heard of Nutella, right? It’s that creamy, yummy, chocolately spread that you can put on bread … or, um, sometimes eat right out of the jar.

Do you think it’s a healthy snack? Or more unhealthy?

I asked a class of third graders the other day who concluded that it probably wasn’t healthy … that it can be a ‘sometimes’ food … but that it sure tastes good.

Last year, some mothers said they were fooled by Nutella’s makers into thinking it’s healthier than it is. And they fed it to their kids as if it was healthy.

They ended up suing the company that makes Nutella … and recently got over $3 million!

The problem is that  Nutella’s TV ads , for example, say that it can be part of a healthy breakfast if you eat it with healthier foods like whole wheat toast and fruit. But the ads also only mention Nutella’s better ingredients like hazelnuts, skim milk and a ‘hint of cocoa’. They don’t mention that the first two ingredients are large amounts of sugar and fat, which are listed on Nutella jar’s label instead.

The moms who brought the lawsuits said that’s not good enough if the ads seem to be untruthful and misleading. One of the moms said she was shocked to learn that it wasn’t really any better than a candy bar.

The two sides “settled”. That means that the moms and Nutella’s makers (both sides with the help of lawyers) came to an agreement without having to go through a trial and have a judge decide. A trial takes up a lot more time and costs a lot more money and is usually what happens if you can’t find a compromise.

Even though Nutella is paying up, they still say they didn’t do anything wrong. They have, however,  agreed to change what it says in their Nutella ads.

The moms don’t keep all the money by the way. In fact, if you bought a jar of Nutella in the U.S. you might be able to get part of that money — anywhere between $4 (the price of one jar) up to $20 (or 5 jars). You don’t even need a receipt. If you want to learn more about that and you’re under 13 years old, please ask your parent or caregiver to click here for more information.

Are you surprised to learn that Nutella isn’t healthy? Or are you more surprised that the moms didn’t seem to know it wasn’t?

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19 Comments on “Nutella A Health Food?”

  • Lauren says:

    I’m not surprised at all. I’m just wondering what prevented the moms from reading the label on the back and viewing the nutritional (or lack thereof) information.

    • Claudia says:

      Hi. Thanks for your comment. In TV interviews, one of the moms addressed that. She said that if she stopped to read every label from what she bought it would take her 4-5 hours. Thanks for reading HTE! Claudia

    • Camillo says:

      Vanessa February 26, 2011 Oooo those Nutella cookies look way too good to try! But I unatrsednd about eating out of the jar! That’s why I don’t buy Nutella anymore, it’s just way too tempting! Ha ha!

  • Cc says:

    That’s interesting. But the moms really should read it before they buy it.

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