Is Your TV Killing You?

I was working from home the other morning putting some finishing touches on a new fat loss promotion and all of a sudden I had an epiphany .

I’d been up since 5am and already had my workout behind me. I was getting hungry for my mid-morning meal, so I made an awesome three egg omelet with some spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese and took a quick break, flicked on the TV to catch some news… and the assault kept coming and coming.

One commercial after another, was using wildly misleading information to entice consumers into buying unhealthy products wrapped up in “healthy” marketing hype.   Here’s what I’m talking about…

Commercial 1: Toaster Strudel, tagline — “The One Kids Want to Eat”

Commercial 2: Pepperoni Minis, tagline — “Wanna Make Meals More Fun?”

Commercial 3: Frosted Mini Wheats, tagline — “An excellent source of fiber from 100% whole grain. Helps keep’em full (referring to kids going back to school) so they can focus on the day ahead.”

THIS ADVERTISING DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!  What a bunch of Bulls**t.   None of these “food” items are healthy and if any of these items are in your pantry, fridge, or freezer, you’re buying into marketing hype. Yes, we are all busy and time is at a premium, but if you’re “saving time” by stocking these quick meal items in your home, you are trading your health and that of your family to save a few minutes.  It’s that simple.

Let’s take the strudel for instance. The first six ingredients out of a list of 42 total (what–42 ingredients?) are:

Enriched Flour Bleached (means it’s highly processed), Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Palm Oil, Sugar and Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil (trans fats). 

There’s nothing real here. This is not food. It is insulin spiking, fat storing junk. And as for the toaster strudel, you bet kids want to eat it because it’s sweet and it’s fun to open the icing packet and squeeze that mystery goop on top.

As for the question “Wanna Make Meals More Fun?” asked in the pepperoni commercial… how about asking “Wanna Make Meals More Healthy?” If healthy is the goal, pepperoni is not the wise choice.  How about centering meals on unprocessed real meat, poultry, fish? Just a thought.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the Frosted Mini Wheats.


One serving (1 cup) has 175 calories. Most people would think, “hey great – this cereal is low calorie and low fat.” But go beyond the calories and you get the real picture.

  • One serving contains 41 grams of carbohydrates. That’s a lot.
  • 10 of those grams are from sugar.
  • The marketing pitch is that the cereal is a source of healthy whole grains.
  • Whole grains, while touted to be healthier, are still starchy and they cause an insulin spike because starch is broken down into glucose (sugar) by your body. So, you get the spike and then the crash.
  • Plus, 10 grams of sugar breaks down to about 2-1/2 teaspoons of sugar per serving.
  • Then, if you add a cup of milk (ok even if it is 2% milk) to the cereal, that will add 12 more grams of carbohydrates all in the form of sugar (from the lactose in the milk), bringing the grand total of sugar to 22 grams, or almost 6 teaspoons of sugar. You bet a child is going to be alert and focused! He or she will be on a sugar high until the crash hits.

You’ve got to go beyond the hype and become label detectives. Learn what the numbers are really saying. Read the ingredient list so you’ll know what you’re bringing home. Don’t let great advertising and persuasive marketing fool you.

Here’s a quick tip when reading labels: 

If a food is labeled “low fat”, you can put good money on the bet that more sugar has been added. Why? Because fat and sugar contribute to the mouth feel of a food. Cakes, cookies, crackers, and the like would all have an unpleasant cardboard-like feel in the mouth without the fat and sugar.  Don’t fall for the “low-fat” hype.

Here’s how to know the real truth behind those grams of sugar – there are a little more than 4 grams in a teaspoon.  So—just divide the total number of grams of sugar by 4 and you’ll instantly know how many teaspoons of sugar are in a food item.

If you need help cutting through the confusion,give me a call and book a private one-on-one nutrition consult. I will teach you how your body breaks down nutrients and what that means for your ability to lose fat and gain lean muscle. I’ll also show you how to cut through the glitzy advertising so that you feed yourself the right way.

Your healthier body is just 10 digits away! Now, that’s a tagline you can trust. 513-291-3481.