Monday, October 12, 2009

Nutella, its not just for dessert anymore!

Upon perusing the internet this weekend and catching up on all of the latest food happenings like I do, it has come to my attention that my beloved Nutella is making a media push to put a new spin on the brand by portraying it as (get this...) HEALTHY! Most of the hubbub is in response to a ad campaign and commercial that aired throughout out the US, UK and parts of Europe that feature a mother lovingly spreading the chocolate hazelnut spread on slices of toast for her adoring little offspring's breakfasts. Mom's assures the audience that Nutella is " a delicious hazelnut spread that [she uses] to get her kids to eat healthy food. Mom goes on to proclaim that this spread, with 52 hazelnuts in each jar, is both "wholesome and nutritious". The commercial ends with both kids feverishly chomping down on a piece of toast slathered with the spread while eyes rolling back in their heads as the sugar high crawls up over their little bodies and finally sets in. I am incredibly  disturbed by this.
Before beginning my rant, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I have had a lifetime love affair with Nutella which reaches back through generations of my family. That being said, I can proclaim with the utmost confidence that it is unarguably two things- 1. Delicious. 2.The opposite of health food. Still, when it's sugar and hydrogenated oil laden chocolaty goodness call my name I normally succumb to the temptation and answer by slathering spoonful after spoonful of it onto a just ripe banana or the occasional croissant. However, I am GROWN! And I sure as hell don't kid myself that this might be good for me nor do I eat if for breakfast or any other nutritionally significant meal.

This commercial is a prime example and yet one more reason why the kids in our country are battling obesity and adolescent diabetes in epic proportions. Why epic kickball games and hide and seek 'til dark have given way to marathon sessions of Xbox and PS3. All because the media is doing a hell of a job convincing moms and dads who may not be the most nutritionally savvy that a product like this is something that would be completely appropriate breakfast for our little ones. SHENANIGANS!!!

Let this serve as my public service announcement- Nutella is about as healthy as a hot fudge brownie sundae with extra whipped cream on top for breakfast. However, like a brownie sundae, it is incredibly yummy and makes a wonderful dessert or treat to be eaten on special occasions and in COMPLETE moderation. I urge you to please keep in mind that it is just that- a treat- NOT a breakfast. So, moms and dads, please bypass the Nutella for breakfast and or lunch for that matter for your kiddies and seek out a more nutritious option to nurture their growing bodies, brains and bellies.

PS. I sincerely apologize for the over use of capitalization though I feel pretty passionate about this and felt it would help portray my outrage. ; )