Kids’ Breakfast Cereals as Nutritional Façade

Kids’ Breakfast Cereals as Nutritional Façade
4.77 (95.47%) 53 votes

Plastering front-of-package nutrient claims on cereal boxes is an attempt to distract from the incongruity of feeding our children multicolored marshmallows for breakfast.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The American Medical Association started warning people about excess sugar consumption over 75 years ago, based in part on our understanding that “sugar supplies nothing in nutrition but calories, and the vitamins provided by other foods are sapped by sugar to liberate these calories.” Hence, added sugars aren’t just empty calories, but like negative nutrition—the more added sugars one consumes, the more nutritionally depleted one may become.

Given the totality of scientific evidence, the FDA decided to make processed food manufacturers declare “added sugars” on the nutrition facts label. The National Yogurt Association was livid, opposing the added sugars declaration, since they needed “added sugars” to increase their products’ palatability. The junk food association questioned the science…whereas the ice cream folks seemed to imply consumers would be too stupid to use it, so, better leave it off. The world’s biggest cereal company, Kellogg’s, took a similar tact, opposing it so as not to confuse the consumer, and should the FDA proceed with such labeling against their objections, added sugars should at most be “communicated in a footnote.” See, their goal is to provide consumers with “useful information so they can make informed choices.” This from a company that describes their Froot Loops as “packed with delicious fruity taste, fruity aroma, and bright colors. Made with whole grains and ‘lightly sweetened,’ a good source of fiber.”

Lightly sweetened? Froot Loops has more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut…. Froot Loops is more than 40% sugar by weight.

The tobacco industry used similar terms, such as “light,” “low,” and “mild” to make their products appear healthier before they were recently barred from doing so. Now, sugar interests are fighting similar battles over whether their “healthy,” “natural,” and “lightly sweetened” terminology is similarly deceptive.

But just look at all those vitamins and minerals they added. That was one of the ways the cereal companies responded to calls for banning sugary cereals. General Mills defended the likes of Franken Berry, Trix, and Lucky Charms for being fortified with essential vitamins. Sir Grapefellow, I learned, was a grape-flavored cereal complete with sweet grape starbit marshmallows––but don’t worry, it was “vitamin charged.”

Sugary breakfast cereals, said Dr. Jean Mayer from Harvard, are not a complete food even if fortified with eight or 10 vitamins. “I think your point is well taken,” replied Senator McGovern, “that these products may be mislabeled, perhaps more correctly called candy vitamins than cereals.”

Plastering nutrient claims on the box can create a “nutritional facade,” acting to distract attention away from unsavory qualities, such as excess sugar content. The majority of parents have been found to misinterpret the meaning of claims commonly used on children’s cereals, raising significant public health concerns…. Ironically, cereal boxes bearing low-calorie claims were found to have more calories on average than those without such a claim; so, it’s like the cereal doth protest too much.

Even candy bar companies are getting in on the action, bragging about their protein content because it has some peanuts, but it’s also a candy bar, with 50 grams of sugar, just like Froot Loops could be considered breakfast candy, as the same serving would have 40….

Given research suggesting “consumers believe front-of-package claims, perceive them to be government-endorsed, and use them to ignore the Nutrition Facts Panel” on the back, there’s been a call from nutrition professionals to consider “an outright ban on all front-of-package claims.” The industry’s short-lived Smart Choices label was met with disbelief when it was found adorning qualifying cereals like Froot Loops and Cookie Crisp. The processed food industry spent more than a billion dollars lobbying against the adoption of more informative labeling, a traffic-light approach, railing against the suggestion that “any food [might be] too high in anything.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: twinsfisch via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The American Medical Association started warning people about excess sugar consumption over 75 years ago, based in part on our understanding that “sugar supplies nothing in nutrition but calories, and the vitamins provided by other foods are sapped by sugar to liberate these calories.” Hence, added sugars aren’t just empty calories, but like negative nutrition—the more added sugars one consumes, the more nutritionally depleted one may become.

Given the totality of scientific evidence, the FDA decided to make processed food manufacturers declare “added sugars” on the nutrition facts label. The National Yogurt Association was livid, opposing the added sugars declaration, since they needed “added sugars” to increase their products’ palatability. The junk food association questioned the science…whereas the ice cream folks seemed to imply consumers would be too stupid to use it, so, better leave it off. The world’s biggest cereal company, Kellogg’s, took a similar tact, opposing it so as not to confuse the consumer, and should the FDA proceed with such labeling against their objections, added sugars should at most be “communicated in a footnote.” See, their goal is to provide consumers with “useful information so they can make informed choices.” This from a company that describes their Froot Loops as “packed with delicious fruity taste, fruity aroma, and bright colors. Made with whole grains and ‘lightly sweetened,’ a good source of fiber.”

Lightly sweetened? Froot Loops has more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut…. Froot Loops is more than 40% sugar by weight.

The tobacco industry used similar terms, such as “light,” “low,” and “mild” to make their products appear healthier before they were recently barred from doing so. Now, sugar interests are fighting similar battles over whether their “healthy,” “natural,” and “lightly sweetened” terminology is similarly deceptive.

But just look at all those vitamins and minerals they added. That was one of the ways the cereal companies responded to calls for banning sugary cereals. General Mills defended the likes of Franken Berry, Trix, and Lucky Charms for being fortified with essential vitamins. Sir Grapefellow, I learned, was a grape-flavored cereal complete with sweet grape starbit marshmallows––but don’t worry, it was “vitamin charged.”

Sugary breakfast cereals, said Dr. Jean Mayer from Harvard, are not a complete food even if fortified with eight or 10 vitamins. “I think your point is well taken,” replied Senator McGovern, “that these products may be mislabeled, perhaps more correctly called candy vitamins than cereals.”

Plastering nutrient claims on the box can create a “nutritional facade,” acting to distract attention away from unsavory qualities, such as excess sugar content. The majority of parents have been found to misinterpret the meaning of claims commonly used on children’s cereals, raising significant public health concerns…. Ironically, cereal boxes bearing low-calorie claims were found to have more calories on average than those without such a claim; so, it’s like the cereal doth protest too much.

Even candy bar companies are getting in on the action, bragging about their protein content because it has some peanuts, but it’s also a candy bar, with 50 grams of sugar, just like Froot Loops could be considered breakfast candy, as the same serving would have 40….

Given research suggesting “consumers believe front-of-package claims, perceive them to be government-endorsed, and use them to ignore the Nutrition Facts Panel” on the back, there’s been a call from nutrition professionals to consider “an outright ban on all front-of-package claims.” The industry’s short-lived Smart Choices label was met with disbelief when it was found adorning qualifying cereals like Froot Loops and Cookie Crisp. The processed food industry spent more than a billion dollars lobbying against the adoption of more informative labeling, a traffic-light approach, railing against the suggestion that “any food [might be] too high in anything.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: twinsfisch via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

I was invited to testify as an expert witness in a case against sugary cereal companies (donating my fee, of course), and this extended video series is a result of some of the research I did into those cases. Here’s are some of the others:

Lots of other food industry videos, too!:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

60 responses to “Kids’ Breakfast Cereals as Nutritional Façade

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  1. Hi
    Just a friendly thought; if you want to increase viewership how about publishing everything you can get your hands on about boosting immunity and surviving viruses.

      1. We are having a webinar about it soon? Is there a date yet?

        I have been trying to understand the TMPRSS2 thing that Germany has found as a mechanism for coronavirus getting into the lungs and so far I just have a list of turmeric, sulforaphane, carotene, lycopene, citrate, and aspirin affecting TMPRSS2. It is all from prostate cancer research, and the science is over my head. I am hoping that someone can explain if it is the same TMPRSS2 involved with coronavirus and prostate cancer in a way that I can begin to understand something.

        I am also really wondering about the PH thing and, no, I am not thinking people should generally over-alkalize, but if coronavirus can’t survive outside of a certain PH, is that something to consider?

        Also, the saline nasal irrigation and gargling with saltwater are what made so much difference for me in whatever I have. I did find studies on those, but I am not understanding all of the science yet.

        Are we going to get the webinar within the next few weeks?

          1. I have also been trying to understand the whole Nrf2 thing where they say sentences like: many viruses cause the activation of Nrf2, which is involved in the pathogenesis and the progression of the virus infection

            I have been thinking about the COPD and broccoli sprouts and asthma and broccoli sprouts and whether broccoli sprouts activating the enzymes to clean out the lungs might help with things like pneumonia.

            Sorry that I am not bringing studies, I am more contemplating mechanisms based on old videos, but I know I am handicapped by not understanding the science, but when I do Google sulforaphane and pneumonia and sulforaphane and viruses and sulforaphane and NRF2 and things like that there are always links. I just need Google to develop a science translator.

          1. Christine Kestner, thank you, although I have to say I would be very disappointed in Dr Greger if he planned to have any cost or by donation associated with the seminar.

            In fact, I would be appalled if NF associated any costs or donation suggestions woth a webinar about the virus. Extremely bad idea imo.

            To me, that is akin to selling tickets to view a house fire…. very poor taste, especially in light of the fact that NF is publicly funded.

            If that is the diection you are thinking… pls rethink this!!

      1. L-lysine is one of my go to supplements when I feel a viral thing coming on! 500mg twice a day for 2-3 days then once a day till I know it’s waning.

  2. How redundant.

    Kids’ Breakfast Cereals as Nutritional Façade-March 9th, 2020

    Are Fortified Kids’ Breakfast Cereals Healthy or Just Candy?-December 16th, 2019

    Which Is a Better Breakfast: Cereal or Oatmeal?-May 15th, 2019

    The Recommended Daily Added Sugar Intake (also talks cereals)-March 2nd, 2020

    + three more videos repeating the same thing

    1. Reality bites,

      Perhaps the message bears repeating?

      Have you seen the cereal aisles recently? A whole section in the grocery store, devoted to this junk food. Even in Whole Foods, which I now call “Mostly Processed But Still a Few Whole Foods Market.” These CRAP (Calorie Rich And Processed) foods wouldn’t take up so much space in the stores if folks weren’t buying them, and either eating them or feeding them to their kids. All very SAD (Standard American Diet).

      I have to search high and low for oatmeal and steel cut oats (literally true: popular and more profitable food items are placed at eye level, easy to see and pull off the shelves (these are prime locations, and cost more to stock); less popular, and often healthier — though I don’t know about how profitable — items are placed on very low or very high shelves. So, I have to stoop or stretch to reach them. That’s why I call grocery shopping “grocery store yoga.”)

      1. YES, the message bears repeating because folks are still buying those “cereals” and compromising their own health as well as that of their children. Tell two friends about it…

        1.5 billion dollars against labeling foods to help folks get past the lies of the industry and make better choices for themselves, that tell it all.

        I am ashamed of the industry. See “Simon Sinek” to hear of leadership and companies can do better, serve humanity, and make money at the same time. (Yes Apple just got nailed for slowing older phones, just shows that companies can never escape the imperfection of man-but they can do much better than most do now-once their leaders act as those of which Sinek tells.)

      2. Dr. J.,
        I went shopping today and got on my knees to get oatmeal off the lower shelf.

        It is my observation that the rag-a-muffin, working class crowd, that can be seen at Walmart are fueling with the CRAP you mentioned. It is quite a realization to consider that this work force is largely fueled on sugar.

  3. Can I hijack the conversation and ask a question that has been bugging me for a long time: I am 62 and when I was a kid, I never met anyone allergic to anything but dust (a few) and wool (my cousin). None of the hundreds of kids I had contact with in the course of my childhood and adolescence was severely allergic to anything. Now, it seems every kid has some sort of allergy and some quite severe. My mom’s milk “dried”when I was 6 months. I got formula. Nonetheless, I have no allergies. I am from Brazil and I suppose we were eating a lot of pesticides (DDT) then, as now, as regulations and their enforcement are hard to verify; therefore, pesticides are not to blame. I suppose meat was safer then because there weren´t hormones and cattle ate grass.

    On the same token, I do not remember any older relative wear anything for bladder leaks. My great grandmother had 16 children, died at 95, my grandmothers and grandfathers died old and “dry”. I have asked my friends and they never heard their older relatives had bladder leaks either. Now, I see Depend commercials for women in their 50’s and, in fact, a coworker told me she has been wearing pads since her early 50s and it is very common. I am flabbergasted. What is wrong with my generation? Is it the ready-to-eat food and their preservatives? There must be an explanation.

    1. Carolina, I’m about five years younger than you are and I have similar memories of childhood in California. Honestly, we went barefoot most of the time, never had fast-food, rarely had colas or other sugary drinks. We ate oatmeal or cormeal for breakfast most days, had a sandwich and a piece of fruit (rarely ‘dessert’) for lunch and dinner was usually some kind of meat (one meatless meal per week; though fish might be consumed) with a vegetable and a starch, though we often just had a big soup and bread or a hash or stew from the leftover Sunday meat – so not a huge amount of meat. My parents grew up before there were chemical fertilizers, convenience foods or fast-foods, and my father could give a clear lecture on the cost of sugar in cold cereals, so we imply had real food. We didn’t drink milk much at all; it was added to other things, but we drank water with meals and water if we were hungry (and coffee – yes, as children). Cheese was used sparingly – to add flavor or as a thin slice on a sandwich. My father was a food safety inspector (meat products) and he wouldn’t allow any foods in the house that had preservatives or MSG, etc. So we ate pretty natural, home-cooked and often home-grown foods. Also, we had very few innoculations against diseases.

      We were healthy. My parents were healthy. My father grew up on a farm and never had a toothbrush or a cavity until he left home and started drinking coke. My parents virtually never got sick or colds. I developed an allergy to pet dander, but since becoming vegetarian/vegan I barely notice it (and it was never really bad; I didn’t have to take medicine for it). One brother is allergic to penicillin. No other allergies in our family. No problems with acne (maybe that’s genetic). My father lived to 96 and almost never caught a cold and worked a big garden (organic; he didn’t know any other way) until he hurt his hip (his wife fell, not him; he tripped over her) when he was 94.

      I’m very grateful for the good genetics passed on by my parents who themselves ate organic and simple, clean foods since that’s all there was when they grew up: they fed us as they were fed.

      As for the bladder control issue, I wonder how many of the women who wear those pads also are overweight or have a large belly? It’s possible that the pressure on the bladder from a large belly can cause a person to have difficult ‘holding it.’ I’ve never given birth, so I have no ‘excuse’ for a weak bladder, but suddenly found myself unable to ‘hold it’ at one point in my life about ten years ago. I was stunned, because as a teacher, I had developed pretty good bladder control: sometimes you don’t get a chance to ‘go’ for several hours. Once I lost weight around my belly area, though, the problem went away. See if the problem is connected with overweight, big bellies or obesity in general. (I’ve also heard that men who thought they had a ‘prostate problem’ found that it went away when they got rid of a huge amount of belly fat.)

      1. Nel,
        I have some similar observations about previous generations. They lived many years. Yes, the environment they grew up in was different. They died of diseases common today but lived longer. A grandfather had Alzheimer’s when he died in his early 90’s. The ones who made it into this world and past childhood tended to be qute hardy. I agree they had a cleaner environment to live in.

    2. Carolina: You/we played out of doors and ate food cooked at home and had animals around. That right there helps an immune system develop. Children of today are raised in “sterile” environments and fed manufactured foods of marginal nutritional value. This does not help immunity.

      In my own experience I had a full childhood of sinus problems, and was treated over and over again. I was tested for brain/sinus issues by EEG. And NO ONE ONCE EVER suggested that dairy could have been the culprit. A few years into adulthood, I quit keeping milk (it always went bad as I was drinking sodas and water and beer). THEN a few years later I realized I’d had no sinus issues since daily consumption of milk went away. Reading early Dr. Weil books I finally made the connection. YET WE STILL have folks drinking that white poison every single day FULLY believing that is GOOD for them–which makes me laugh and cry at the same time. Nothing could be further from the truth–But try convincing any one of them otherwise.

      Dirt and bugs and dogs and horses and cats and mud and creeks and ponds—made us healthy. Not any vitamin pills.

    3. Carolina, I am my 77th year and also never heard of any of the allergies kids and young people have today. I have believed for some time that the industrialization/factory farming/highly processed foods we consume have indeed poisoned the USA food supply.

      As a child your Mom baked apple pie with fresh apples. Now most people eat an apple pie that is factory made with about a dozen chemical additives to keep it fresh and the apples used are probably laced with pesticide. Go figure.

    4. Hi, Carolina! I don’t know that the answers to these questions have been definitively “put to the test,” but I suspect that part of the issue with allergies is that testing is a lot more common than it used to be. It is my opinion, based on my experience with clients in my practice, that some frequently used allergy tests simply tell people what they have eaten recently, but they are interpreted as identifying hidden allergies that may or not actually exist. I do think that we live in a more polluted world than previous generations. I also think that, particularly for women, bladder leakage can be hormone-related, and our food supply is definitely more hormone-disruptive than ever before. I hope that helps!

  4. Why must Dr. Greger put himself in these videos? It reminds me of the narcissistic fool we have in the White House. I really enjoyed this site for many years, but Greger’s ego is too much of a distraction, in the sense that he is more important than the information presented. I can’t deal with this type of narcissism.

    1. George, I think ‘narcissistic’ is going to far. Dr Gregor is hugely self-giving and generous, and that’s not in keeping with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He has a HUGE fan base who wait for his tag-line, ‘until… you put it to the test’ and who like his ‘style.’ For me it’s got too ‘heavy,’ too much, so it’s distracting. When I watch very early videos, his presentation is much less ‘schticky.’ But a lot of people just like it, I guess the way they like the schtick of a favorite comedian.

      I think he’s doing what a lot of his live audiences have come to expect, and perhaps its become habitual. But having a speech habit that is not compelling to everyone is not grounds for an attack on someone’s character.

      I just read the transcripts, because as a teacher of English to non-native speakers of English, I’m used to clear, crisp, well-enunciated delivery that is directed at the widest possible level of comprehension and listening skill. So it simply irks me on professional grounds. But I won’t go so far as to judge Dr Greger’s character on his speech habits. The work of his life is a better gauge of the quality of his character.

        1. Nope, I’ve been following Michael Greger and also studying NPD long enough to be sure he’s not of that type. He’s just always digging for a way to get more/better response to his videos. The videos have gone through several evolutions of technology and editing over the years. Some have been TRULY over-busy, and overly flashy, and now we’re in the era of “see Michael speak” in each one. It’s not so bad as some of the “techno-itis” videos a couple years back. Hell we used to be able to edit comments too. Things change and giving us “editing privileges” back is -never- coming back as I see it.

          Don’t sweat the small stuff. Go help a friend understand the devastation of modern diet. Help a stranger understand. YOU CANNOT help them change without them wanting to try something different. So don’t force it. Ever.

          The INDUSTRIES made this food mess, so it will be a long arduous battle, but we have Dr. Greger, and many like him, out front. And if he/they had billions to spend we might get more done faster. Our economies will fail if the status quo is maintained.

          1. Wade,

            I had slept all day yesterday being sick, so I ended up clicking through the PBS channels last night and I ended up watching Dr. Fuhrman and I saw all of these people who had been healed from so many sicknesses and I love these men and women on the front lines. All of them. Even Jeff Nelson, who I mainly just got frustrated with that he would cause division in a movement that could save so many lives.

            Mic The Vegan did a coronavirus saving lives in China because of how many lives are killed by pollution and travel and that they have stopped the wild animal eating and though I worry that it might the wrong time sensitivity-wise for such a video what occurred to me is that it exposed the bigger problem of crazy modern cultures. PBS exposes the problem of crazy old cultures.

            Now and then it is nice to rise above the pettiness and genuinely appreciate the ones who have labored so much for this.

            I pray that Dr. Greger never be someone we take for granted in this internet age and age of celebrity that we don’t treat him any differently than we would in person and to his face with our grandmothers watching.

            1. Deb,
              I watched a Mic the Vegan video on Parkinson’s recently. It is really good. He mentioned the nutritionist who treated her Parkinson’s with wheat germ, strawberries and brown rice–like Dr. Greger mentioned in a video. I’ve noticed similar use of graphics between nutritionists.

        2. Mel,
          I think you are far too critical of your writing. Others are so busy making there (their) own mistakes that they do not notice the snafus in your writing. It’s nice to know you care about your grammarly appearance though. What would cyber space be without the appearance of good writing.

    2. Clearly you don’t understand what Narcissistic Personality Disorder is. Moreover, if you follow any particular personality on YouTube, you’re going to a lot of time see that they present their material in person. That is not what defines NPD. Also thank you for your political insights, they tell us a lot about you.

    3. What a strange comment.

      By your standards, it seems that all teachers, university lecturers and speakers of any and all kinds must be defined as narcissists.

  5. I’m sorry. I’m finding Dr Gregor’s ‘speed up, slow down; loud, soft,’ style and the ‘uuuhs’ more and more distracting and hard to listen to. It’s like the schtick has gone so far that it’s almost a caricature – more distracting than attention-getting now.

    Thanks for the transcripts. I can refer people – especially non-Americans or non-native speakers of English (who can’t follow this kind of speech) to the printed text and they can get the information, too.

    1. Nel,

      Honestly, Dr. Greger has always varied his talking. It is the extra visual elements that add too much visual information in and it is mostly that the software that they are using has caused there to be too much distraction.

      As far as the “ego” thing, when I first came here, Dr. Greger wasn’t in almost any of his videos and that was odd and almost like he was not being represented.

      I don’t like this new format and I know that he has already asked for and received criticism and I do trust that he will deal with it, but I have never seen any doctor not have themselves in their own videos and he has a very big fan base who would hate it if he replaced himself with some generic stepford version of himself.

      But, I really do know that this format is distracting, but that is on him not understanding what the video software would do and he is learning fast.

      1. For all of those years, he was the only doctor who didn’t put himself in his videos.

        That has to count in the ego equation, too.

      2. Deb,
        I think Dr. Greger wears his “Greger” on his sleave. He owns it and people know him for it. His humor in his talk on, “Uprooting the leading causes of death,” is case in point. He brought down the house when he finished a cooking video with ten burpees. That got me to doing ten burpees, when I can, and I am over 60.

    2. I think a much more important issue is whether he is gaining his height in these videos by just elongating his spine or by actually rising up on his toes. If it is the toes, he is going to have one massive set of calf muscles.

      1. Laughing.

        Pretty sure I saw some toe action going on there.

        Honestly, he has won my heart after 2 years of being blessed over and over and over and over again by him and I find all of those little things even more charming now.

        Robin Williams was in a movie years ago Good Will Hunting about the little idiosyncrasies he missed the most. He called it “the good stuff” and I honestly find all of it “the good stuff” about Dr. Greger and it doesn’t matter if he changes back and forth it will all be the good stuff from now on.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltNhwj-F7c8

        1. I think it is part of the natural process of coming to genuinely love people.

          First, you are impressed with everything your parents do.
          Then, they can’t do anything right and they are so stupid and annoying and embarrassing.
          Then, you get older and realize how patient they were and how much they did for you and how hard they worked and how selfish and ungrateful you were and you change your expectations and learn who they are and appreciate them for who they are.

          I think in most relationships in life there is a point where there where you get annoyed by how loudly they chew their celery.

  6. Louis,

    Amazon has a great variety of liposomal Vit C. We all know that supplements are not regulated, so who knows what the honest brands are. Which brand do you take? Have you ever checked the wholesomeness of the brand? They are not cheap…

  7. You know what I find FAR MORE obnoxious and time-wasting than most any (well-edited/produced) video, regardless of the information presented?

    Podcasts!!!

    So terribly very few are worth suffering through the technical and production ills and excess yappity yapping that I just cannot partake in that genre. I’ve tried.

    I get the appeal to those making them (no editing afterwards–it’s OVER at the end) but that style is not for me. And that’s OH—Kay.

    Make good food and share it. That’s the easiest way for folks to begin to realize us whole-plant-food eaters are not suffering from flavor deprivation. Seek to be part of the solution rather than the armchair/internet quarterback.

    Also know that no matter your complaint or issue with the NF.O videos, they are shot en masse and even if the Good Doctor agrees with your assessment and decides to change the style of what he is doing, it will be several weeks or longer before any changes will be seen by us viewers. There’s no point in “ramping up” criticism once you’ve put it down. Takes time for the cycle to repeat. Those who’ve been hanging around here for years have seen this over and over.

    This month is my 5th year annversary of WFPB! Yippee! If only I’d started sooner! This means I’ve been watching Dr. G’s videos for well over five years, and trying to help spread the word all the while.

          1. Thanks Deb. And thanks for your other comment above about the PBS shows. PBS begathons are where I first found some better doctors, it was years later I found Dr. G and others and actually CHANGED my life. Carry on.

            1. Wade TN – Likewise I was first introduced to WFPB (though not by that acronym, as far as I recall) by Dr. Joel Fuhrman in a 2012 PBS begathon (love that term). Dropped the meat and dairy that year. Then found Dr. John McDougall and others online because of having some idea what to search for. I respect Dr. Fuhrman for his passionate and clear presentations in those PBS appearances. I respect Dr. McDougall for his years of experience helping people shed or ameliorate illnesses, and for his informative newsletters containing the scientific sources in which he is also so well versed; and I lean toward his starch-based version of WFPB. Most of the leaders in this field are genuinely desirous of giving us the information needed to improve our lives. I love Dr. Greger for his generosity in dedicating his life to making the science available and (mostly ;-)) understandable. I don’t know when I first found him and this site (in one of its earlier iterations), but probably at least 5 years ago of my now 8 WFPB years. Lots of changes over these years – including oldtimers’ handles. I think Dr. Greger is a gregerious (hah! misspelling deliberate) sort who is driven to CONNECT with people, perhaps accounting for his trying to apply every means of communication at his command to do so, maybe too many at once for some of us – me, for instance. I would prefer much less visually and aurally busy videos, but usually read the transcripts then watch the videos with my mouse in hand ready to click the progress off when needed. I absorb information best by reading; the words and illustration in printed matter stay there so one can reread as and when necessary. Videos are good in that one can replay, but too much flashing by onscreen too quickly is annoying and adding Dr. Greger’s visual presence and gestures onscreen to his often too rushed delivery (WHAT did he just say?) can sometimes make for a frustrating experience. Nonetheless, what would we do without him.

  8. Dr. Greger,
    Thank you so much for your blog and books and your continual research. Your work continues to bless many lives. Considering that you are working on the How Not To Diet Cookbook, may I express that what I need most are daily menus that incorporate the Daily Dozen each day. It would be a tremendous help to have 2-4 weeks of menus, each day fulfilling the daily dozen requirements.
    Thank you for your consideration.

    1. Great idea Jo! Also, I actually prefer a spiral bound cookbook that opens flat on the counter… I have a couple of them, and they are the ones I use, decade after decade.

  9. That’s all fine and well, but what about all those you’re putting out of a job? What the hell is Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, the little leprechaun and that poor Trix rabbit supposed to do?

  10. Is there any research on the impact of a whole foods, plant-based diet on EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)? I know it’s not very common, but someone close to me has this, and it can be extremely debilitating when it flares up. I would love to know what the medical/scientific community has said about this. Thanks.

    1. Hello Nancy,

      I have just searched Pubmed to identify any research on nutrition and Ehlers Danlos, and unfortunately there currently isn’t any. There are hypotheses about specific dietary approaches and supplements, but none of those studies have been done yet. I hope we have more answers for you in the future!

      Dr. Matt

  11. Team Greger:
    Love the information in this video about sugar in kids’ cereals, but in order to share and educate others, inclusion of health consequences of too much sugar (diabetes, obesity) and healthy breakfast alternatives would make it much more effective.
    Thank you

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