Health, Kids, News

Nutella Is Not A Health Food

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Nutella
Nutella. Image: A. Kniesel

The company that makes Nutella, a spread made from chocolate and hazelnuts, has agreed to give refunds to people who bought the product because they thought it was good for them.

Four women in the United States sued the company, Ferrero U.S.A., Inc., because they said it made misleading claims about the product. Television commercials for Nutella describe it as part of a balanced breakfast, along with toast, milk and fruit.

The women said they bought Nutella because they believed it was a healthy food to give their families. Then they found out that the spread contains large amounts of sugar and fat. Eating too much fat and sugar can contribute to obesity – being overweight — which is not good for your health.

According to the nutritional information on the label, two tablespoons of Nutella (about 37 grams) contains 11 grams of fat and 21 grams of sugar, and only three grams of protein. That’s about the same amount as a chocolate bar. (For instance, an Aero bar has 11 grams of fat, 24 grams of sugar and three grams of protein.)

Ferrero has agreed to refund the money of anyone in the U.S. who bought Nutella between January 2008 and February 2012. They will pay $4 per jar, up to a total of $20.00 per person. It will probably cost the company about $3-million to provide refunds to everyone who asks for one.

Ferrero has also agreed to change the way it labels and advertises Nutella.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Advertisements, such as commercials, print ads and pop-up Internet ads, are designed to persuade people to buy a product. For example, Ferrero created ads that convince people that Nutella is healthy and part of a balanced breakfast when, in fact, it isn’t.

Find an advertisement that you like. Who is the ad targeting? Who is the ad not targeting? What strategies are used to convince people to buy the product? Is the advertisement truthful?

Reading Prompt: Responding to and Evaluating Texts
What do you think about this news story? Do you agree that Ferrero should refund unhappy customers and change how it advertises Nutella?

Do you think all of the fault lies with Ferrero, or do you think shoppers need to take responsibility for their own decisions?

Primary
Express personal thoughts and feelings about what has been read (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Junior
Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Intermediate
Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts using evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Grammar Feature: Alphabetical order
Read the following sentence and re-arrange the words so they are in alphabetical order.

The company that makes Nutella, a spread made from chocolate and hazelnuts, has agreed to give refunds to people who bought the product because they thought it was good for them.