TASTE
11/01/2011 07:50 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

Misleading Food Ads: Should Mom Really Be Serving That?

Making fun of commercials for unhealthy food -- any type of commercials, really -- brings to mind that expression "shooting fish in a barrel." From the actors' cheesy smiles to the omniscient announcer's vague or tricky statements, it's simply too easy. But then again, the number of Americans "contracting" obesity is growing every year, and it's not like the big-timey companies pumping these products into the marketplace can't handle (or don't deserve!) some ribbing.

In advertising, transparency doesn't always sell. "Our brand of candle will look and smell the same in your living room as those other candles." See what we mean? But food commercials don't always simply glamorize their product -- sometimes they can be accused of portraying it dishonestly. Below, a few examples ...

Nutella

Healthy whole grains drenched in chocolate, fat and sugar make a smart morning staple for growing children. Right?

Best moment: 0:05: Busy mother's bratty spawn child shoving breakfast plate aside.

Questionable statement: "And Nutella's made with simple, quality ingredients, like hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa."

Hamburger Helper

Come on, people. Hamburger Helper is described on its website as a dinner mix. And one (smallish) serving contains a quarter of your recommended saturated fat limit.

Best moment: 0:14: Close up of ambiguous meat concoction in pan.

Questionable statement: "The dinner table is where I learned to be responsible." Hm.

Sunny Delight

27 grams of sugar per serving, 5% juice. 100% excellent choice for a child's drink.

Best moment: All of it. Seeing is believing.

Questionable statement: It's not so much the statements in this ad as it is the athletic imagery: silhouettes(?) of children triumphantly kicking soccer balls and crossing finish lines. Although the commercial's opening sentence, especially in a vacuum, is pretty questionable: "Superstar and mom Martina McBride and Sunny D love to see kids' spirits shine."

What's your take on these commercials? Dishonest? Or just delicious? Tell us in the comments.

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