Former first lady Michelle Obama’s new kids’ juice venture sparked controversy over allegations the beverage is secretly loaded with sugar and additives.
Michelle’s New Kids Beverage
Michelle Obama, the former first lady of the United States, has announced the launch of PLEZi Nutrition, a healthy food and beverage company that is aimed at fighting childhood obesity.
However, her new venture has come under scrutiny from some critics who claim that the product is secretly loaded with sugar and additives, and that she is putting her own bottom line above the well-being of children.
PLEZi Nutrition is rolling out its first product, a fruit juice for kids, in four flavors that it claims contains 75% less sugar than the average leading 100% fruit juices.
Here’s PLEZi’s About Us page which explains why Michelle Obama created the drink:
The Juice Draws Unhealthy Criticism
Calley Means, a former consultant for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola who is reportedly a “whistleblower” on the state of the beverage industry, has criticized Obama’s new beverage.
Means claimed that beverages like Obama’s tend to cite purportedly “rigged studies” that reflect their product in a positive light.
He added that sugar is a provably addictive substance that negatively affects juvenile health, and that Obama should be mindful of what she is marketing to children.
In response to the criticism, PLEZi Nutrition stated that it is “focused on lowering sugar content and lowering sweetness to help adjust kids’ palates to crave less sweetness overall.
In addition to reducing the sugar and sweetness, they are adding in nutrients kids need, all with the aim to replace sugary drinks and snacks.”
Children’s Health and Added Sugars
According to a press release shared with ABC News, U.S. children tend not to consume the proper nutrient thresholds and are ingesting 53 pounds more added sugar than necessary.
The release also noted that sugar-sweetened beverages are the leading source of added sugar, and nearly two-thirds of youth consume sugary drinks on a given day.
PLEZi Nutrition is hoping to not only provide healthy and delicious drinks and snacks for kids, but to also jumpstart a race to the top that will transform the entire food industry.
As Obama stated in a PLEZi Nutrition press release announcing the launch, “Even after everything we accomplished during the White House years, it is still simply too hard for kids to grow up healthy.”
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