Nutrition News: General Mills Cereal Gets Real, Water Is Recalled, "Fitness" Food Fails

General Mills to rid cereals of artificial flavors and colors, Niagara recalls bottled spring water, and "fitness" foods may backfire.
  General Mills’ Cereal Makeover

Trix are for kids who don’t want artificial flavors and colors in their cereal? Soon, silly rabbit, they will be. General Mills says it will remove artificial flavors and colors from the 40 percent of its cereals that still contain them. Trix and Reese’s Puffs will be among the first to lose the artificial ingredients, with new, less vibrantly hued versions (colored and flavored with fruit and vegetable juices and natural vanilla) expected this winter. By the end of 2017, General Mills says, artificial flavors and colors will be gone from all of its cereals, including those with marshmallows, as a response to consumer demand for “more recognizable and familiar ingredients” on cereal labels.

Bottled Water Recall

Attention, drinkers of bottled water. Niagara Bottling LLC, which produces water sold under its own name and 13 others, has issued a voluntary recall of spring water bottled at its two Pennsylvania plants between June 10 and June 18, 2015, after traces of E. coli were found at one of its springs. Customers are urged not to drink products that have reference codes that begin with either an “F” or an “A,” are dated between June 10 and June 18, 2015, and are sold under the following brand names: Acadia, Acme, Big Y, Best Yet, 7-11, Niagara, Nature’s Place, Price Rite, Superchill, Morning Fresh, Shaws, Shoprite, Western Beef Blue and Wegman’s. Niagara insists the recall has been made out of “an abundance of caution” and that products not dated within that timeframe are unaffected and “completely safe to drink.” Find more information here.

"Fitness" Food Fail

Packaged products marketed as “fitness” foods (Clif Bars, Wheaties and the like) may backfire, encouraging people to eat more of them and exercise less, and undercutting efforts to lose or keep from gaining weight, according to a new study published in the Journal of Marketing Research. "Unless a food was forbidden by their diet, branding the product as 'fit' increased consumption for those trying to watch their weight," study co-authors Joerg Koenigstorfer, of Technische Universität München, and Hans Baumgartner, of Pennsylvania State University, concluded. "To make matters worse, these eaters also reduced their physical activity, apparently seeing the 'fit' food as a substitute for exercise.” The authors suggest marketers combat this phenomenon by adding workout tips and gym coupons — which may act as exercise cues — to “fitness” food labels.

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish .

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