This morning, as I was reading my daily ADA news articles, one particular blurb from The Sun caught my eye. Apparently, McDonald’s is launching a brand NEW! fizzy “fruit juice drink” geared toward children as a “healthy” alternative to soda. The said beverage is called Fruitizz and McDonald’s announced “We are thrilled to be unveiling Fruitizz, a refreshing fizzy fruit juice drink that will help parents give children one of their five-a-day.”
Oh joy! Oh Bliss.
Now, before I go bashing McDonald’s, I will admit that they have made strides to improve their menu over the years AND provide adequate nutrition facts for their meals. However, they’re still a fast-food burger joint and the majority of customers come in for their burger and fry fix (or nuggets). Let’s be honest here.
When it comes to children, fast-food burger joints are a touchy subject with me. I just don’t believe that these are places where we can give our developing children substantial nutrition. Even if the Happy Meal OFFERS apple dippers and 2% milk as options, the apples still come with a caramel-y dipping sauce and the milk? Well, is non-organic milk really that healthy for them? Maybe better than the orange drink…?
NOW, as a way to lure unsuspecting parents to the drive-thru, McDonald’s wants to launch ‘Fruitizz.” With just about 49 grams of sugar per 500 mL, ‘Fruitizz’ is sure to put your little one into a sugar coma for hours to come. Oh dear.
“McDonald’s defended the new fizzy drink, stating it contains no added sugars, artificial colours or flavours, and that the sugar content is derived from natural sweeteners in fruit. According to Omninfo the drink contains a mix of 60 percent fruit juice combined with natural sparkling water. The fruit juice is a mixture of raspberry, grape and apple juice. The chain is marketing the drink as a healthier alternative to Coca-Cola although it contains just 7.5g less sugar.” (source)
Now, I’m not saying that kids are really drinking a full 500 mL of this stuff, but to call this a “nutritious beverage” that can be part of their ’5 A-day,’ is insane. Call it what it is! Might as well be giving them Fruit Punch (or a soda)!
When it comes to children, I typically recommend that the average sugar intake not exceed 3 teaspoons of sugar a day. That’s a hard quota to hover around, especially with all the packaged, processed foods and drinks that our children are consuming these days. It is up to the parent though, to help children reduce their sugar intake, as it can lead to obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and improper nutrition. A good place to start is looking at the beverages they are consuming. It is NOT necessary for children to drink fruit juice, milk, punch, and soda all throughout the day. ALL children should be drinking water as their primary beverage and eating as many WHOLE foods as possible. Replace ‘Fruitizz’ with a REAL piece of fruit and they will actually be contributing to their 5-9 A Day!
Steer clear parents. ‘Fruitizz’ is NOT healthy.
Question: What are your thoughts on the launch of ‘Fruitizz?’