But according to the FDA, General Mills has been marketing it as if it was a drug.

According to one news article,

Current boxes of Cheerios are touting what the company calls exciting news — the cereal’s ability to help lower cholesterol 10 percent in one month.

cheeriosOk, so there are studies showing Cheerios can lower your cholesterol up to 10%. What’s the issue?

The agency said claims that Cheerios ingredients can lower cholesterol within a certain amount of time, all while providing cancer-fighting and heart-healthy benefits, essentially makes Cheerios “a drug” by their definition. And no drug in this country can be legally marketed without an approved new drug application.

I have a big issue with this. My issue is that, as General Mills points out, the FDA is not disputing the science behind this, merely that General Mills can’t use the language they’ve been using to promote this science, UNLESS they have Cheerios classified or approved as a drug. This seems symptomatic of America constantly bowing to the wishes of Big Pharma.  ”Oh, something can lower your cholesterol by 10%? Well then it MUST be a drug, because only drugs are capable of having such profound affects on your health. What’s that, it’s food that you say can lower my cholesterol 10%? Nonsense! Drugs, drugs, drugs!”

Newsflash: Cheerios, whole grains and other forms of fiber are extremely healthy for you. If Americans ate more of them, and ate more fruits and vegetables, along with supplements like Omega-3 or Krill Oil we wouldn’t have so many health problems that Big Pharma could  exploit to get the medical industry to prescribe us a ton of drugs. The typical American diet is terrible.  If people ate healthier we could avoid needing so many prescriptions.  Big Pharma fears Americans eating healthier diets just like they fear legalized marijuana – both are bad for their profits.

I understand the FDA needs to restrict how companies can market the health benefits of their products and I would like strict, not loose oversight on this point.  But to essentially say that drug makers can tout very drastic health benefits, but food manufacturers can’t, seems back asswards.

Our country is way overmedicated, to the point of using medication to treat problems caused by other medications.  The key to good health really is as simple as eating healthy and excercising.  Americans need to put down the pills and pick up a salad.

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7 Responses

  1. erinchristine7@gmail.com'
    erin

    When something like this happens it makes me realize how vulnerable we are to advertising. It seems like the general population knows enough about cholesterol and their health that a cereal should not have this kind of influence. It can be as simple as reading a couple of credible health stories on healthy diets and watching what you eat… though I guess Cheerios are misleading us all of a sudden.

    Reply
  2. eugene@howcanigethealthy.com'
    Eugene

    Sometimes I wonder how much must one take to really reduce the cholesterol with such foods. Just like when they say Quaker Oats can reduce cholesterol, I think one must take at least 3 times a day for continuous 3 to 6 months to see results. Will one go bonkers taking the same food everyday?

    Reply
  3. bearsilber@gmail.com'
    Bear Silber

    @Eugene – I eat oatmeal every single morning for breakfast every single day….for the last couple of years or so. I still look forward to it :) ….and if I’m not mistaken, oatmeal lowers cholesterol too :P

    Reply
  4. cat.chatfield@gmail.com'
    Sangla

    This does strike me as faintly ridiculous although you do have to be aware that big pharma also use food products to make profits from their drugs that aren’t successful enough. Got a cholesterol drug that works but not to the same effect as ones currently available? Don’t market it as a drug, sell it as “food” like Benecol! They’re pretty sneaky…

    Reply

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