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Playing Both Sides

Here's a little "Compare and Contrast" game for all of you.

Depending on which side of the Atlantic you reside, Mars, Inc. will have differing opinions on the health benefits of chocolate.

Here in the States, Mars, Inc. has launched a campaign for a new product that claims to be healthy.

Called CocoaVia, the products are made with a kind of dark chocolate high in flavanols, an antioxidant found in cocoa beans that is thought to have a blood-thinning effect similar to aspirin and may even lower blood pressure. The snacks also are enriched with vitamins and injected with cholesterol-lowering plant sterols from soy.

The article goes on to quote a researcher saying there has been no link established between flavanols and a reduced risk of cancer or heart disease. And with the rising problem with obesity in this country "the last thing we need is for Americans to think they can eat more chocolate."

Such a trifle as an "established scientific link" will not cause Mars, Inc. to rethink their campaign nor will it discourage competitors such as Hershey Co. from jumping on the bandwagon.

However, if you happen to live on the European side of the ocean, you will be getting a different sort of message.

Chocolate bars and other sweets are to have a "health warning" printed on the back of their packaging as part of a major drive to educate the public, particularly children, on their diet.

[...]

Cadbury Trebor Bassett and rival Mars have joined forces in a £10m information campaign under the "Be treatwise" banner. Both companies will be changing their labelling over the coming months to include a detailed panel containing the nutritional content of their products.

So, if you eat chocolate in the U.S., it's healthy, but if you eat chocolate in Britain, it will be accompanied by a health warning. Make sure you take your bearings before chowing down on your next piece of confectionary.

By min | February 24, 2006, 1:48 PM | Liberal Outrage