Advocacy / Sugar

WalMart RD Gives Us the Runaround

fmwI storified the WalMart RD Giving Us the Runaround:

Nutrition education or nutrition runaround?

  1. Lisa Sutherland, Ph.D., serves as a food and nutrition consultant to Walmart. Her tweets on the sugar content of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats (FMW) Cereal show an amazing persistence in misstating and obfuscating the facts on the cereal’s sugar content and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) requirements.  See if you can spot the runaround.
  2. FNCE is the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo taking place in Houston.
  3. Public health lawyer Michele Simon asks about the sugar content.
  4. Sutherland makes her first misstatement.  The cereal does not have less than 6 grams of sugar per 100 gr.
  5. I fact check Sutherland and point out that a serving has more than half the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended daily limit for added sugar for women.
  6. @lasutherlandphd @MicheleRSimon This shows 11 gr of sugar per serving. More than half the daily rec limit for women.…
  7. She persists and misstates the WIC limit for added sugar. (RTEC is ready to eat cereal).
  8. @CaseyHinds @MicheleRSimon I said <6g per 100g. That’s the WIC standard. It’s a 55g RTEC not 30g.
  9. Michele tries to make sense of it.
  10. @lasutherlandphd @CaseyHinds so how does 100 grams translate into cups, or # biscuits? says serving size “About 21 Biscuits”
  11. And again I try to point out again the high sugar content.
  12. @lasutherlandphd @MicheleRSimon AHA standard for added sugar for women 20 gr per day max. Srvng of frosted mini wheat 11gr. More than half.
  13. I point out that FMW doesn’t have 6 gr of sugar/100 gr but 20 gr of sugar/100 gr.
  14. @MicheleRSimon @lasutherlandphd 54 gr listed as serving size w/11 gr sugar per serving. Wouldn’t 100 gr of the cereal have 20 gr of sugar?
  15. I point out the actual WIC requirements of 6 gr of sugar per oz, not 6 gr of sugar per 100 gr as she had stated.
  16. @lasutherlandphd @MicheleRSimon WIC is 6 gr sugar per oz cereal or 21 gr sugar per 100 gr cereal…
  17. @MicheleRSimon @lasutherlandphd Proc food in food banks make it nearly impossible to stay w/in the rec guidelines for limiting added sugar
  18. Michele tries to point out Sutherland’s mistake.
  19. @lasutherlandphd @CaseyHinds did you miss this part, where Casey noted “54 gr listed as serving size w/11 gr sugar per serving” ?
  20. Now she mixes units (54 gr vs 100 gr) to make it appear that FMW is significantly lower in sugar  than the WIC requirement.
  21. @CaseyHinds @MicheleRSimon Yes. That cereal is 11g which fits the WIC 21 g per 100g criteria.
    • Did it create enough confusion to get us to drop it?
  22. @CaseyHinds @lasutherlandphd I see, very confusing! Anyway, that we are spending so much time figuring out SUGAR content shows problem
  23. I try one last time.
  24. @lasutherlandphd @MicheleRSimon Frost mini wheats has 20 gr sugar per 100 gr cereal (just under the limit for WIC) but max daily AHA sugar
  25. Finally she has the right numbers with the right units.
  26. @MicheleRSimon @CaseyHinds Yes 21g is allowed per 100g, so 11g per 54g is within scope- 21/100=21%; 11/54g, hence in WIC
  27. Considering that WalMart promotes Kellogg’s cereals in their grocery ads in my local paper, I’m not surprised to find their nutrition consultant would try to pass off Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal as lower in sugar than it actually is.  No wonder responsible dietetics professionals are concerned that the nutrition information the American public is getting has been tainted by food industry interests.

7 thoughts on “WalMart RD Gives Us the Runaround

  1. I dont think she was trying to hide anything, I would like to think she just got her numbers wrong and didn’t understand what you were getting at. She was right, the cereal is WIC approved, albeit barely. I would bet there would have been little confusion if you simply said “you made a mistake on your sugar ratio, it’s …..not…” She agreed with you when she finally understood her mistake.

    • It didn’t seem odd to you that she never acknowledged she had made a mistake? Usually people own up to making an honest mistake if they don’t have another agenda.

  2. it does seem odd, most people are willing to admit their mistakes right up, and I imagine it’s a hard thing to do for someone with huge credentials and one of the largest corps in America looming over your back

    • That’s one of the reasons Dietitians for Professional Integrity was started: “Our efforts are guided by professional integrity. We believe the American public deserves nutrition information that is not tainted by food industry interests. Those of us who co-founded Dietitians for Professional Integrity are nutrition experts first and foremost; we went to school to help people achieve better health through food, not to help multinational food companies sell more unhealthy products.”

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