Mom Shocked that Nutella Ain't Health Food, Sued, and Won!

What?! Nutella isn't healthy? Mom Athena Hohenberg claimed that she was duped into thinking that the popular chocolate hazelnut spread was healthy for her daughter.

So, she sued ... and won!

Have you bought a jar of Nutella in the past four years? Were you under the impression, as you slathered the creamy hazlenut spread onto your crackers or scooped large spoonfuls of it from the jar directly into your mouth, that you were indulging a health food craving? Well, you could soon find yourself at least $4 wealthier.

Yes, that's right. Ferrero, the company that manufactures the highly addictive yet apparently not terribly healthy spread, has settled a $3 million lawsuit filed in February 2011 by San Diego mom Athena Hohenberg.

Hohenberg, it seems, believed that Nutella was a great dietary choice for her four-year-old daughter. She claimed the company's advertising -- particularly giving TV-ad viewers the idea that Nutella was part of a nutritious breakfast [...] -- led to her erroneous perception.
But when she realized the spread is about as healthy as your average Snickers bar, she decided it was time to get even -- and get cash.


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So, following the link and watching the commercial, I can't help but notice that if you served Nutella as recommended in the commercial, it would actually probably be just fine. Nutritionally, it's about the same as peanut butter (which is high calorie, but if your child is active and growing, they need those calories).

If you don't want to watch the commercial, the recommended a thin layer of nutella spread on two pieces of toast, with milk and a piece of fruit. That's probably ~700 calories or so, which is a decent breakfast for an active, growing child. Now if you let your kid sit on their butt all day, that's a different matter, but it's not he food's fault.
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Didn't we go through this in the late 80s when every sugary cereal claimed to be part of a nutritious breakfast while showing half the menu of Denny's out of focus behind the bowl of cereal? Or was that changed because it was during cartoon time when it is mostly children watching?

While I'm partially with JKearney on this one because nutritional information is clearly printed on the container so you'd have to ignore it constantly to not know that it's not a health food, I'm also familar with the advertising industry works. Mixing Madison Avenue get together with psychologists and a corporate structure that is legally required to maximize profits was one of the worst things that could have happened to public health. They know how to push all our buttons and have the motive to do so.
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