The “Healthy” Look

February 16, 2017

There’s a term I heard of recently called “green washing”, which is when a company presents itself or its products as environmentally friendly. However, in reality, their actions do little to nothing for mother earth. Sometimes, they actually cause a lot of harm. Something rather similar occurred during my lunch today.

When in my college dining hall this afternoon, I went to the cooler looking for a drink to go with my meal. I usually choose grapefruit or cranberry-grape juice, but I wanted to try something different. Towards the bottom of the fridge, I saw a variety of Naked brand juice drink. With a name like Naked, and the words “no sugar added” in a bold font, I assumed that it’d be a great addition to my healthy lunch of white rice, chicken, broccoli, and beef (I was really hungry). However, upon looking at the nutrition label, I saw that the drink contains 76 grams of sugar.

That’s right. 76 grams. Needless to say, I put it back and stuck with grapefruit juice.

A coca cola can of the same amount (12 oz) contains 39 grams of carbohydrates per can. That’s an astonishing, nearly 200% increase in sugar. Naked presents their drink as very healthy, too. Just the name “Naked”, presents an image of pristine, untouched purity. Their bottles feature the primary fruits included in whatever variety they’re selling. And yes, while the drink has no added sugar, that much sugar from a 12 oz bottle isn’t healthy; there’s no excusing it.

Thus, Naked brand drinks, and these general types of products, are what I call the “healthy look” or “health-washing”. It deceives innocent customers that genuinely want to improve their physical health by displaying themselves as quintessential products towards achieving fitness. While in reality, they may worsen sugar addictions, and cause people to put on excess weight. I have no intention of shaming Naked, nor the other companies that participate in these actions. What I want is to spread awareness of these practices. Please, mind the nutrition labels. While they’re not necessarily the most accurate (any experiment involving a calorimeter will prove that), they’re the best thing most have access to in terms of determining whether or not you should consume a product. Eat wisely!

Namaste,

V

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