by Marion Nestle
Jun 6 2013

More Q and A’s about food politics

More responses to questions that came in last week:

Q3.  Have you seen Dannon’s new campaign for their Greek yogurt?  I’m a nutritionist and received a huge package of collateral promotion material they wanted me to distribute.  The tagline for the product is, “Too delicious to be nutritious.”  Are they kidding?  They want a nutritionist to ratify the idea that healthy food is expected not to be good tasting? 

A.  I’m so with you on this one.  Of course healthy foods can be delicious and should be, every time.  Yogurt, especially the Greek kind, is a hot-selling product these days.   The advertising agency gets a hand slap for this one.  Of course Dannon will argue that the advertising worked.  Ink is ink and you and I are writing about it.


Q4.  There’s a recent op-ed in Forbes Magazine entitled, “Top Science Journal Rebukes Harvard’s Top Nutritionist” written by Trevor Butterworth. Could you respond to what’s going on around the controversy surrounding this Harvard professor?   

A.  Sure.  I already did, in comments posted last  January.  The controversy centers on disputes over the interpretation of research showing little effect of overweight on mortality except for the extremely obese.  The article in Nature discussing the controversy does an excellent job of explaining the inevitable uncertainties in nutrition research and the need to leave wiggle room—in case the science changes—whenever discussing new studies.

  • I am with you both in regards to that first question! As a nutritionist (RD2Be), nothing makes me angrier than when people post a healthy recipe with the tagline “it doesn’t taste healthy at all!” I hate that people think healthy foods don’t taste good. With my friends and family, I always make them taste a new recipe first before I tell them what’s in it so that their preconceived notions of “healthy food tastes bad” don’t interfere with their evaluation of the food I’ve made.

  • I agree with you. It’s a hasty generalization to say that all healthy foods taste crap. It’s like saying that you need to torture yourself to eat nutritious food just to have a healthy diet. It’s been a decade since I started my weight loss program and I get used to eating healthy food. Ironically, I find all nutritious food I’ve eaten as delicious contrary to what other people perceives. It’s all about mind setting on what delicious is really about.

  • Library Spinster

    Food companies and their advertisers love the “it tastes too good to healthy” hook. They also like implying that you can’t get enough of a given nutrient without buying their product. One ad featured a woman gnawing on a whole head of broccoli in a (vain) effort to get the recommended daily amount of fiber. Thank goodness for Product X!