California Mom Sues Nutella, Says Nutrition Claims Exaggerated

Filed under: In The News, Mealtime

Nutella picture

A California mom says she was shocked to learn Nutella isn't nutritious. Credit: Alberto Pellaschiar, AP

Shocking as this may sound, chocolate may not be the most healthful choice for your kid's breakfast.

Not surprised? California mom Athena Hohenberg says she was, and now she's suing the makers of Nutella, claiming she believed the popular sandwich spread was a nutritious treat, but discovered it's actually loaded with sugar and saturated fat, Fox News reports.

In the suit filed in San Diego federal court, Hohenberg says she was "shocked to learn that Nutella was in fact, not 'healthy, nutritious' food, but instead was the next best thing to a candy bar, and that Nutella contains dangerous levels of saturated fat," according to Fox.

On its website, Nutella markets its cocoa and hazelnut spread as an idea for busy moms trying to "nourish their children with whole grains," adding that "Nutella can form a part of a balanced meal."

These claims are presented as coming from Nutella's "expert," Connie Evers M.S., R.D., an "award-winning, registered dietitian, children's nutrition expert and mother of three."

According to the nutrition label listed on the website, a two-tablespoon serving of Nutella contains 200 calories, 11 grams of total fat and 3.5 grams of saturated fat. The spread's ingredients are listed as: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy) and vanillin, an artificial flavor.

The suit points out that saturated fat has been shown to be a cause of heart disease, while processed sugar has been shown to cause type 2 diabetes, Fox reports.

Hohenberg wants to turn her suit into a class action suit, and asks that any monetary judgment be divided among "all persons who purchased on or after January 2000 one or more Nutella products in the United States for their own or household use."

In the suit, Hohenberg alleges "Nutella was worth less than what plaintiff and members of the class paid for them," and says many consumers would not have purchased Nutella had they been aware of the exaggerated health claims surrounding it, Fox reports.

Hohenberg is also asking that Ferrero, Nutella's parent company, launch a new ad campaign to correct the allegedly misleading claims about the spread.

Elise Titan, a spokesperson for Ferrero USA, tells Fox the company stands by the wholesomeness of Nutella.

"What we can say right now is that we stand behind the quality of ingredients in Nutella hazelnut spread and advertising for our product," Titan says.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.