507 – You Can’t Go Back: 14

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General Mills, makers of Cheerios, has been rebuked by the FDA for printing on the Cheerios box that the cereal will “lower your cholesterol by 4% in 6 weeks,” and treat heart disease. Apparently only actual FDA approved drugs are allowed to make that kind of claim… and Cheerios isn’t a prescription-only cereal.

General Mills responded in a snit, saying that Cheerios’ claims at healthiness were approved 12 years ago, and that the FDA’s problem was only with the box and not the cereal. The FDA said duh, that’s what we said, you’re just deflecting.

See, while Cheerios can help with cholesterol and such, the truth is that it’s only peripherally involved. If you cut fat and processed sugars from your diet, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, exercise, and don’t eat more than one bowl of Cheerios a day, you can lower your cholesterol by 4% in just 6 weeks — and help treat heart disease. Saying it’s the Cheerios is kind of like saying it was Budweiser’s fault that girl you screwed in the alley behind the honky tonk turned up pregnant. Sure, Budweiser was there, but it wasn’t the beer who decided condoms were for sissies.

“Therefore,” says the FDA, ” your claim does not convey that all these factors together reduce the risk of heart disease and does not enable the public to understand the significance of the claim in the context of total daily diet.” 

Chagrined, General Mills relented, saying they never like Cheerios anyway. In the same press conference, the food giant introduced Immortal! Energy Bars, guaranteed to protect you from the swine flu, cancer, and make you completely bulletproof.*


*When used in combination with good diet, social isolation, chemotherapy, and bulletproof jacket.

24 Responses to 507 – You Can’t Go Back: 14

  1. Am I being trolled? If I am I have to applaud you, sir.
    Please let that be the case. If it’s not I might be on the hook for yet another sarcastic and cynical response regarding, for instance, acceptable levels of rat feces in food products and the like–and that feels too much like work right now.

    • Think of it as art, AC. Make of it what you will.

      That does suggest another new cereal though… Rat Feceos! Comes in chocolate and another flavor that looks just like chocolate, Rat Feceos simply utilizes the the all-natural ingredients found in other top shelf cereals and puts sugar on it! Great for kids, and helps the body’s immune system learn to deal with things like Rat Feces!

  2. Lowers your cholesterol (maybe)… but raises your blood sugar (for certain). 🙄
    The only place where I’d believe the bit about a cereal “treating heart disease” is Futurama. The Cheerios would be laced with medical nanobots. Or those symbiotic gutworms that Fry contracted from a gas station sandwich that make you smarter, healthier and buff.

  3. Coward classes, eh? But they already have a cleric. 😉
    They already have enough frontline fighters. Seriously, there’s no rule that a wizard can’t have a high Strength. But the group doesn’t have a proper wizard right now, only a half-assed one. And with Dobby’s high Wisdom and upgraded Intelligence, he’d make a better wizard than Enkidu. They should just kick Enkidu to the curb. :mrgreen:

  4. Well that’s great. Zobbie will be another useless guy just like the rest. Way to go!

  5. I would like to contest the claims made by Immortal! Energy Bars, as the use of a bulletproof jacket does not, in fact, make one bulletproof. Merely bullet-resistant.

    Getting shot while wearing a vest is still painful. With a large or fast enough bullet, still deadly. And headshots will still ruin your day.

  6. “lower your cholesterol by 4%” – heh, that’s cute. Some simple math:
    Folks with high cholesterol have levels of 250 or so (sometimes much higher, but that was mine).
    Dropping it 4% means it’s all the way down to 240 – woohoo!

    As my doctor told me, “If you want to eat carrots all day go right ahead and have a nice life. If you want to fix the problem, take these (Lipitor).” My levels went from 250’s to 110’s – not THAT’s an effective treatment. Sorry for the side rant – I just laugh when I see those Cheerios commercials – there just so pointless.

    Now if the FDA would just go after those hundreds of “supplement” companies we see on the net, on TV and in our email. (Hey, I can dream can’t I?)

    • I have to jump in here and this isn’t specifically directed at Kroneg. Just general information that many people don’t understand.

      Cholesterol comes from animals not plants. The only way you can get cholesterol in your diet is from eating animals. Animals create their own cholesterol as do our own bodies. A few people create too much cholesterol on their own – vegetarian or not. But, most people with high cholesterol are eating lots of meat.

      Meats with the highest cholesterol are from animals that eat lots of other animals (see the trend?). Beef is lower in cholesterol (at least before we started feeding them other animals) than, say chickens (who eat lots of bugs, etc. if they are free range). Shrimp is another one that is high in cholesterol because shrimp eat lots of other little animals. Plant eating animals? Lower cholesterol.

      Now, this isn’t meant to be a “eating meat is bad” conversation. Just stating some facts that the doctors forget to mention when they hand out pills.

      So, if anyone is worried about cholesterol, try adding some vegetarian meals to your diet.

      • Hey, jumping in on an old conversation…

        I just wanted to say in response to Lena’s comment (which I agree with) that the biggest problem with the medical system is, perhaps, that… well, I’m not an American, but I have the impression that your whole country is seriously over-medicated, in nigh every area of life. And that’s fine, because this is the way your system is built. You can’t complain about something you designed to turn out that way.

        Doctors usually don’t talk about factors that stray outside their area of expertise, because it’s outside their area of expertise . People often discredit nutritionists, saying, “oh they’re not doctors, what do they know” and things along that vein. But doctors, on the other hand, are not trained in dietary matters. This inevitably leads to massive amounts of medication, no? I am amazed at how people are so incredibly lazy with what they put in their bodies (or, on the other hand, get carried away to the point of obsession).

        In my country, for example, it would be pretty expensive and difficult to eat the kind of diet I’d be interested in – ideally, free of as many chemicals as possible and providing the maximum amount of nutrients – without growing a lot of the foodstuffs myself. Organic farmers are NOT common here and stores specialising in organic food are… lets say rare. Though lately, the trend here seems to be towards health-consciousness, so maybe that will change? I hope.

        Anyway… TL;DR? 😛 Sorry for, ya know… jumping in out of nowhere with this pointless rambling. I’ve been reading the archives and finally got the itch to comment. Great comic, too, btw 😛

        • No apology necessary. Glad to see some activity in the archives. What country are you from?

          You are right. We are seriously over medicated. We like to take pills instead of cutting back on the junk food. Somehow, people think it is easier and works just fine.

          I’ve been amazed at the times the pharmacist caught something my doctor didn’t in terms of mixing things. You’d think the doctor would ask certain questions. Or maybe he didn’t know – which is scarier. They pass out antibiotics like candy here. No one explains to you that they only do good if you have an infection. So, people take them for colds, flu, etc. Now they are immune to the antibiotics when they really need them. Score! Of course there are tons of antibiotics in our meat and milk products too – so you get them that way too and don’t even realize it.

          We are seeing more and more “natural” and “organic” foods in the normal grocery stores now. It’s so wonderful. All the organic pricing is coming down and making it more affordable. I can only see the trend increasing. Hope it does for your area too.

          • I’m from Estonia, which is a small country in the Baltic Sea region. Russia is our eastern neighbour, Latvia to the south and Finland across the bay to the north. We were under Soviet rule for… about half of the previous century. Obviously this has hindered progress in a major way, though since our liberation in 1992 things have picked up pretty well. I, admittedly, don’t have much of a frame of reference, being born in ’90.

            Anyway, I thought about my previous comment a bit today. I think it’s really positive that, overall, we are NOT a very chemically-doused country; I’m fairly certain stuff produced within the country are fairly “green” compared to yours. Maybe. I hope 🙂

            Also, I remembered: we have markets where a lot of small-farmers sell their crops that are usually grown within 100 km of the city, so perhaps I might have exaggerated. Of course they mostly use chemical fertilizers, but not in such a big amount. And I’m fairly certain it’s illegal in the UN to pump cows full of antibiotics 🙂 About antibiotics and meds, though: since here, families have their appointed family doctor (I described our medical system in the comments some 50 strips forward), who usually takes care of you for a very long time, they’re fairly familiar with your problems. At least ours isn’t very pill-happy and often recommends more natural, simpler remedies when they are appropriate (in addition to pharmaceuticals).

            Plus, a lot of people my parents’ age are familiar with a time when doctors were pretty often shitty and incompetent, and simpler home remedies are quite often used here. Some are actually countereffective, but a lot of the home remedies work wonders, despite being less potent or fast-working than pills or syrups of course.

  7. RE: EcchiKitty – In my business (network television) headshots are something I see everyday… And some of them do really ruin your day. How could someone so ugly think they can act on TV. I have a face for radio, so I speak with some authority!

    Cheerios appeared in the 1978 “Superman” movie thus implying that they not only help your heart, but make Kryptonians even stronger (and thus bullet proof). Now THAT should be on the box!

  8. Companies are no longer allowed to make outrageous claims that everybody know is not true but might sell the product anyway if the claim is cool enough? Another step toward “boring world”.

    That being said, Cheerio’s DO happen to be one of the healthier cereals that a kid might be convinced to eat. There was probably some study (perhaps paid for by them, perhaps not) that sorta backed up their original claims, but I guess they must Bow to the Almighty Zod… no, I meant Obama… no, not quite right either… the FDA? Like they’ve never been wrong before (referring to all three here)!