Michelle Obama's new 'healthy' soda brand WOULDN'T qualify for her healthy ... trends now
Michelle Obama's new children's juice would fall foul of the healthy school meal program she herself lobbied for.
The former First Lady's avid campaigning during her husband's eight years in the White House to improve the health of American children resulted in updated guidelines for school meals and drinks that limit the permited types to milk, water, or 100 percent juice in 2014.
That would likely disqualify the company she co-founded - Plezi Nutrition - from being able to be provided in US schools.
The drinks, which come in four flavors, have no added sugar, are rich in fiber, and contain 75 percent less sugar than 'leading fruit juices', making them a far more appealing alternative to parents.
But healthcare expers have pointed out that 'healthier' does not necessarily mean healthy, and at the end of the day, children will still clamor for more of the sugary drinks.
Mrs Obama co-founded Plezi Nutrition to create drinks that she says are a lower-sugar alternative to steer children away from sugary drinks
Plezi Nutrition drinks contain less sugar that popular sodas and fruit juices, but they are not 100 percent juice
While they contain no added sugar, the juice content is almost exclusively from concentrate, which typically contains less nutritional value than whole fruit juice (hence the addition of fiber).
The drinks also contain plant-based sweeteners stevia leaf extract and monkfruit which were believed to be a healthier alternative to sugar, though the World Health Organization issued new guidance this week urging people to avoid stevia.
Massachusetts pediatrician Mary Beth Miotto told Bloomberg: 'Plezi tropical punch has no ADDED sugar but has 6 [grams] sugar & juice concentrates.
'We don’t know the final word on artificial sweeteners but we know that drinking sweet beverages make kids want MORE sweet foods. Each box is more than the recommended daily intake for age 4-6.'
Plezi's drinks contain six grams of sugar per eight-ounce bottle, 35 calories, two grams of fiber, and 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
Other experts said Mrs Obama was mistaken for selling an 'ultra-processed' sugary drink to very young children.
Jerold Mande, an adjunct professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and CEO of Nourish Science, a