Shocking News: Nutella is Not Health Food.

Just when I thought I’d heard it all in terms of ridiculous lawsuits, I read about this California mother who is suing Nutella because it isn’t healthy.

What the heck? Is this really what we have come to? Who on earth thought that Nutella was health food to begin with, anyway? The lawsuit is claiming that Nutella is high in saturated fat. Of course it’s high in saturated fat; the main ingredients are sugar, oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, and milk. Guess what else is high in saturated fat? Peanut butter. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised when I hear about peanut butter manufacturers on the receiving end of a lawsuit next. Apparently Nutella claims to be a nutritious treat. Well, don’t all manufacturers of processed, unhealthy snack food claim that their product is in some way good for you? Sugary cereal proudly advertises on its brightly colored box that it is “fortified with vitamins!” and “contains whole grains!” Juice cocktails lure you in with their claims that they “contain real fruit juice!” which is technically true, except that it comes after the water and high fructose corn syrup.

There are many manufacturers in the world who go to great lengths to cover up the items included in their product, but Nutella and other snack food have their not-particularly-healthy ingredients displayed right on the label. The woman who filed the lawsuit said that she wasshocked to learn that Nutella was in fact, not ‘healthy, nutritious’ food, but instead was the next best thing to a candy bar, and that Nutella contains dangerous level of saturated fat.”

Well I’m not shocked at all to learn that. Nutella says on its label that the ingredients are sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), and vanillin, an artificial flavor. The ingredients of a Snickers Bar are milk chocolate, peanuts, corn syrup, sugar, skim milk, butter, oil, lactose, salt, egg whites, and artificial flavor. Look at the first five ingredients – the candy bar is really not very different from Nutella.

Intentionally misleading marketing is something that really bothers me, but come on. If we’re going to start making an example of companies for using misleading marketing, let’s not start with Nutella, a treat that’s honestly not even that bad for you compared to many other snacks that our society is stuffing into its collective mouth at every chance. There are lots of tasty and disgustingly-bad-for-you treats available, and if you choose to offer some foods that are more fun than nutritious, you need to make an informed choice about which ones you’ll choose for your family. The last source a person should rely on for information is a television advertisement for a snack food!

We need to have some basic knowledge of nutrition so that we can read the ingredients in a food and then make an informed choice about eating that food. There are so many sketchy, questionable products in the world. Why not point fingers at the manufacturers of HFCS, food dye, or bleached flour? It’s seriously beyond me why someone would be outraged that chocolate hazelnut spread is “the next best thing to a candy bar.” If you are concerned enough about nutrition that you don’t want your family eating sugar and chocolate with their nuts, you need to have the ability to choose packaged foods based on their ingredients. Don’t rely solely on the word of the manufacturer, and for the love of Pete please don’t start throwing lawsuits around at companies that aren’t even making a good attempt at lying about their products nutritional value.

I’ll be the first person to shake my first at corporations that tell us lies, but this is the kind of story that only makes main-stream people roll their eyes at those of us who are genuinely interested in better nutrition.


About Nathalie

A full-time wife and homeschooling mother of three, a part-time Volunteer Coordinator for work, and a writer, volunteer, social justice activist, and Unitarian Universalist church lady in my "spare time."

9 Responses

  1. DRHeltzell

    My response to the lady filing the lawsuit is: learn to read labels. If the first ingredient is sugar, well DUH. That means there is more sugar in it than anything else. And read the calorie breakdown on the same label. C’mon. USE that thing between your ears for more than holding your hat.


    1. AndIThoughtIHeardItAll

      I completely agree, another sue happy ‘Sue’ … I wonder what would of happened if she used her energy to really do something that would benefit a humanity, such as charity work, or maybe standing up for a fact that our legal system is all messed up, that murderers are on the loose or maybe why DUI drivers ever desrve a second chance.


  2. Nat, I think your comparison to candy-cereals making health claims is spot on! LUCKY CHARMS is advertised as having essential vitamins and minerals and fiber… IT HAS MARSHMALLOW CANDY IN IT.
    We can’t be SO STUPID that we refuse to use our own brains when we shop and put the burden totally on the people out to make a profit.


  3. Yes, to both of you! Exactly! I’m all about conspiracy theories, especially regarding things we put into our bodies, but this is just plain dumb. We need to have SOME personal responsibility! Besides, it’s not like Nutella is poison. I’d rather feed something that includes hazelnuts with its chocolate and sugar than something that’s void of nutrients.


  4. I don’t really think this is a stupid or frivolous law suit (though I agree it should be stupid and might appear that way!). These law suits are the *only* way reform in the way products can be marketed and labeled will happen. It’s sad that this is the reality of the situation and there should be tighter rules around this, but there just aren’t. So, I say kudos to this mom. Maybe her lawsuit will keep Nutella from marketing to and convincing millions of other moms that they make a nutritious product, know what I mean?


  5. The next best thing to a candy bar? Pssha! It’s better than a candy bar! I do think it’s odd that Nutella now advertises their product as something you should spread on your kids’ breakfast toast, but unless a company is actually lying about their product’s ingredients, they are allowed to spin it however they want to. So if they want to put a “nutritious” spin on Nutella, they can go for it, as silly as it may be. I hope this lawsuit gets thrown out.


  6. It’s the stuff that’s in the middle of those gold-wrapped Ferraro-Rocher candies that have the hazelnut in the middle. Candy filling. Delicious. And will kill you eventually. Who would give that to their kids for breakfast?


  7. It’s the stuff that’s in the middle of those gold-wrapped Ferraro-Rocher candies that have the hazelnut in the middle. Candy filling. Delicious. And will kill you eventually. Who would give that to their kids for breakfast?


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