Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oatmeal and Jumping to Conclusions

Don’t you hate it when people report news without really doing any research on the facts? One of my biggest pet peeves while listening to the radio in my morning drive is when they report on some new study or finding and try to discuss it. Undoubtedly the newscaster has never done any research on the issue. Case in point, on my morning commute today, K-Love reported that McDonalds new Oatmeal option has as much sugar as a snickers bar. Is anyone really surprised that McDonalds “healthy” option isn’t exactly “healthy”? To my pleasant surprise, one of the anchors (Lisa, maybe? I can’t ever remember their names) points out that while it does have a lot of sugar, the oatmeal also has a lot more nutrients and other health benefits that McD’s other menu options do not offer. I fully agree with this point and personally get frustrated when people get too caught up on one nutrition fact, like sugar. Sugar is not the only evil in the world of nutrition.

Anyway, as the morning hosts are discussing this “finding”, one of them asks about the amount of sugar in flavored oatmeal packs you would buy at the store (you know, like Quaker Instant Oatmeal-Maple and Brown Sugar flavored). To which another anchor says they have “a lot” of sugar and they all agree that they probably have about the same amount of sugar as the McD’s oatmeal. This is where I got frustrated. This is a completely false statement and jumping to these conclusions just gives people a false sense that McD’s oatmeal is equivalent to their store bought stuff. Is this really the message we need to send to people?

Because I like facts, I looked this all up as soon as I got to work. So that you too can be an informed consumer, you should know:
1. A Snickers bar has 29 grams of sugar-that’s a lot, but not enough to make me stop eating Snickers once in awhile
2. McDonalds Fruit and Maple Oatmeal has 32 grams of sugar-considering how much extra sugar is in this compared to store bought oatmeal, this is enough to make me never order it.
3. Quaker Instant Oatmeal has 9 grams of sugar-Only 9 grams? Yup! Quite a bit less than a snickers bar and the McD’s oatmeal.

But there’s more! If you are concerned about sugar (and other nutritional information-which we all should be to a degree), Quaker does offer a Low Sugar variety of oatmeal that only has 4 grams of sugar. HOWEVER, I highly recommend Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal. It only has 1 gram of sugar! Just ONE! And it has more protein and fiber than the regular stuff. Plus the handy single serving size bags are perfect for those of us who can’t get out of bed 10 minutes earlier to eat it at home. I just throw it in my purse and eat it once I get to work!

Unfortunately, Quaker did not pay me any money to write this entry. I just really struggle to get out of bed and rely on my oatmeal packets to keep my breakfast fast, easy, and mostly healthy. I’ve spent a lot of time in the cereal aisle “examining” the nutritional labels on all the different brands of oatmeal to pick what I believe is one of the better options. What do you eat for breakfast?


Chase said...

I absolutely agree with you. You see this exact kind of willingness to accept "facts" at face value without investigating the source. I am always frustrated with any science articles I read because the information isn't correct or massaged to make it more dramatic. I think a lot of it traces back to scientific or scientific method illiteracy: Learning to ask the right questions and probing deeper.

Chase said...

Maybe instead of eating breakfast bars each morning, I should choose the healthier option of eating the instant oatmeal at work.