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J’Accuse! Naked Juice is sugar water

Occasionally we dual-post in Quizzify and They Said What, when we think an item is important to all of us. This is that situation.

Candy is bad for us. Your employees know that, so they don’t have to learn it in Quizzify. On the other hand, what seems to provide endless question fodder for our trivia quizzes is junk food marketed as health food. For example, we called out “Craisins” (dried cranberries) last month.

Everyone assumes that dried fruit is healthy. Well, dried fruit generally is healthy. Except when it isn’t. If, like cranberries, a fruit is so sour in its natural state that you have to smother it in sugar for it to taste good, well, that’s not healthy. Here is our question on it. Check out the nutrition label at the end:

1/4 dry cup, about 40 grams in total, has 29 grams of sugar, most of which is added. We were quite surprised to learn this (as I used to feed these things to my kids) and apparently so are your employees, as only about 20% get this question right.

We are shocked, shocked, to find that sugar is being added in here!

Just when we think we’ve seen everything, it turns out that one serving of the healthiest-sounding processed food on the planet, Naked Green Machine Juice (whose label touts “Goodness Inside”), supplies far more sugar (53 grams!) than we should be eating all day. (That latter figure would be, depending on who you believe, 35 grams for men and 25 grams for women.)

You can’t quite read it, but take our word for this: the label claims: “No added sugar.”  But here’s a piece of nutrition trivia. Naked Juice is sweetened with concentrated fruit juice, and concentrated fruit juice is an added sugar. Nevertheless, the Naked Juice people don’t have to list concentrated juice as added sugar because that’s what they are selling – juice. It’s like maple syrup. Maple syrup doesn’t list any added sugar on its own label because it is all sugar. But a processed food that includes maple syrup must count it as an added sugar.

Regradless, fruit juice concentrate is added sugar, period. If it were added to any non-juice product, it would be listed as an added sugar.  As far as your digestive system is concerned, there is no difference between fruit juice concentrate and sugar.

How much fruit-extracted sugar does Naked Juice concentrate into one serving? 2¼ apples worth, according to its own label. (Plus the sugary extracts of kiwis, bananas, pineapples, and pears.)

Naked Juice does supply lots of Vitamin A, B and C. But here’s the thing: for every American with a clinically significant deficiency of those vitamins, there are about 10,000 Americans with diabetes and another 20,000 on their way. Virtually every one of those 30,000, including many of your own employees, thinks they are doing their bodies a favor by drinking Naked Green Machine Juice.

Piling on, we’d also observe that the one nutrient we as a country are most deficient in is fiber. (Yes, that is also a Quizzify question.)  Fruits are a good source of fiber. Even Craisins can at least check the fiber box. Yet, somehow, Naked Juice has managed to process all the fiber out of these 2 ¼ apples and four other fruits, so the label above lists 0 grams.

Verdict: Naked Juice is not a healthy alternative to vegetables. Heck, it’s barely a healthy alternative to dessert.

Presenting Chris Deacon…Unplugged! (Webinar 01/06 1 PM EST)

Chris Deacon is going to give us the inside scoop on the successes and challenges in managing the highest-visibility health benefit in the country north of Bentonville (That would be the state of New Jersey and its 820,000 employees!)…and what she learned and we can learn from her experience.

Specifically, she will cover three initiatives that we all agree should reduce spend and likely improve outcomes, but which come with their own set of hurdles:

(1) Enabling advanced primary care
(2) PBMs
(3) Compiling your data in-house and knowing how to use it

Then she will discuss the challenges of each. Sometimes your TPA, broker, consultant or (in the case of public sector entities) politicians will be supportive. Other times they won’t be. A lot of money is changing hands and suffice it to say not all of it is transparent.

But as an attorney, she knows how to use ERISA (and now also the Consolidated Appropriations Act) to demand data, transparency and value. And in this webinar, Chris will share those secrets with you!

Register here. The webinar will be available afterwards to peopel who register ahead of time.


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