Amazon, the Clinton Foundation, and the American Heart Association have partnered to sell high-sugar food to children. And they’re marketing this junk food as if it’s healthy.
The Amazon-Clinton-AHA initiative is called the Healthier Generation Store. It introduces itself as “your one stop shop for Healthier Generation-vetted Smart Snacks and products for students in and out of school.”
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s website says its “products…comply with the USDA’s Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards and the National AfterSchool Association’s Healthy Eating Standards.”
If that’s true, then the USDA’s standards are even worse than we thought. This Amazon “health” food store sells almost no fresh food. Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even lean protein sources are all conspicuously absent. Instead, you can purchase Doritos, Pop-Tarts, Cheetos, and chocolate chip cookies. Not to mention the Quaker S’mores Bars, packing in 64 grams of sugar per box. That’s nothing compared to the Kellogg’s cereal bars, though, which fit 176 grams of sugar in a single box. According to the AHA itself, this is more sugar than a child should consume in an entire week.
The “whole grain” Rice Krispies on sale are even worse, with 220 grams of sugar per package, at nearly three teaspoons of sugar per serving. Healthy? For children?
This is not a joke. Yet somehow, the only significant criticism of this initiative has been a tweet by the account @CalvsJunkFood.
How could this happen? To quote famous Clinton operator James Carville, “it’s the economy, stupid.” Or the disease economy, rather.
The American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation teamed up to form the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The Alliance’s main focus seems to be healthwashing the images of junk food corporations. According to dietitian Andy Bellatti, healthwashing is “a tried-and-true industry tactic to pass off highly processed junk food as health food.” This would include such tricks as “labeling candy as ‘a fat-free food’, adding a sprinkle of flax dust or corn fiber to sugary cereals, or touting that a cookie is fortified with vitamin C.”
When the junk food industry needs to draw attention away from the fact that its products contribute to nearly 1.9 million American deaths annually, it can simply call up the Clinton/AHA Alliance and strike a deal.
For example, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have both funded the Clinton Foundation with millions and Coca-Cola funded the AHA. The Clinton/AHA Alliance then partnered with the American Beverage Association’s Balance Calories Initiative (Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are members of the ABA).
Guess what happened? The Alliance for a Healthier Generation failed to hold Big Soda accountable to its pledge. Initial data suggests the Balance Calories Initiative may actually have been counterproductive, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Now take the Amazon-Clinton-AHA “health” food we covered earlier. Many of the products are sold by companies with financial ties to the Clinton Foundation. Doritos are made by Frito-Lay, which is owned by PepsiCo. Cheetos are also a PepsiCo product, as are Quaker S’more Bars. PepsiCo has donated nearly $8 million to the Clinton Global Initiative and Clinton Foundation, according to Real Clear Politics. And we don’t have to tell you that PepsiCo enjoyed regular access to the State Department under Hillary Clinton’s tenure.
So a Clinton-founded initiative is healthwashing junk food sold by a company that’s donated millions to Clinton-founded initiatives. And they’re targeting children with food that promotes diabetes, heart disease, cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and obesity.
If Amazon will sign off on this scheme, what does that mean for the future of its subsidiary Whole Foods? Pepsi has been angling to get its organic junk food sold at Whole Foods, as Bloomberg reported last week. Now that would be the epitome of healthwashing, given Whole Foods’ good-for-you reputation.
Could it be more obvious that public health partnerships with the junk food industry are doomed to failure? Could the Clinton Foundation, Amazon, and American Heart Association’s professed commitment to health be any more laughable?