Michelle Obama’s new juice brand for kids fails to meet her own health criteria, experts say

Former first lady Michelle Obama’s highly promoted juice brand Plezi is getting a thumbs down from experts who say it’s too sugary and fails health standards set by the Obama administration that are aimed at elementary and middle schools.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

According to a Bloomberg report, 12 independent health professionals found that Plezi’s current flavors released earlier in May would not meet the requirements to be served to elementary and middle school students.

“Under the Obama-era school-meal regulations currently under review, US elementary and middle schools may only serve water, milk, or 100% fruit or vegetable juice with no added sweeteners (the regulations do permit schools to dilute juices with water) — and none of Plezi’s four current flavors meet these criteria,” the article asserted.

These so-called nutrition experts were concerned over the “non-nutritive sweeteners” that were found in the drink such as stevia leaf and monk-fruit extracts which could still be considered unhealthy. The World Health Organization published its own report on Monday advising against the use of sweeteners such as stevia to control body weight.

Michelle Obama has been accused of putting profits before the health of children with the new drinks.

The drinks, which come in four flavors, have no added sugar, are rich in fiber, and contain 75 percent less sugar than “leading fruit juices.” But that’s not good enough for the experts.

The nutrition experts turned on Michelle Obama and chastised her for promoting a brand that could be a less healthy option for kids.

“She has been ill-served by advisers who convinced her to start by targeting 6- to 12-year-olds with a flashy, ultra-processed beverage that may not be any healthier than diet soda,” Jerold Mande, a nutrition professor, told Bloomberg in an interview.

Center for Science in the Public Interest nutrition director Bonnie Liebman also hit the former first lady over the drink, “Kids are also better off getting the intact fiber in fruit, rather than the processed fiber added to Plezi. It’s not clear that the soluble fiber would make kids feel full, and it’s unlikely to prevent constipation, but it certainly can’t hurt.”

(Video Credit: Wall Street Journal)

Plezi’s CEO Leah Dunmore ardently defended the brand against the criticism in an email response, according to Fox News, “[To] label Plezi an ‘ultra-processed food,’ is at best cynical if not intellectually dishonest.”

Most of these health experts grudgingly conceded that Plezi could be considered a healthier and less sugar-filled choice than regular soda. But they cautioned that it still contained a significant amount of sweeteners.

“[Low]-calorie sweetened drinks can be a reasonable alternative on occasion, keeping in mind that water and milk are the healthiest choices,” a spokesperson for the American Heart Association remarked concerning the drink, according to Fox News.

Massachusetts pediatrician Mary Beth Miotto tweeted, “Plezi tropical punch has no ADDED sugar but has 6 [grams] sugar & juice concentrates. We don’t know the final word on artificial sweeteners but we know that drinking sweet beverages make kids want MORE sweet foods. Each box is more than the recommended daily intake for age 4-6.”

Calley Means, who is a former consultant for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola dramatically told Fox News that he was “sick to [his] stomach” witnessing the former first lady promote an unhealthy beverage for children.

“As a parent, I am begging Michelle Obama — this might not fund the new house in Martha’s Vineyard, but please, for the sake of children, speak clearly: Kids should not be eating sugar and not be drinking sugar,” Means hypocritically said.

Considering the sugary drinks he pimped while working for Coca-Cola, it would seem he does not have a lot of room to lecture Michelle Obama on the issue.

Michelle Obama was known for pushing initiatives to combat childhood obesity while her husband was in office as president. The health guidelines promoted by the Obama administration had mixed results and many schools deemed them too restrictive and costly. Not to mention the fact that students hated the lunches mandated under the guidelines because they tasted awful.

Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE


If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to American Wire News to help us fight them.

Thank you for your donation!


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles