The Girl Scouts of America has recently partnered with Nestle to create two drinks with beloved Girl Scout cookie flavors: Thin Mint and Caramel Coconut.
Each 14 oz. bottle appears to be single-portioned, but the Nutrition Facts label claims it is actually 2 servings. This makes the rest of the nutrition information look more favorable, but it is highly unlikely that anyone would drink less than the entire bottle in one sitting. Since each serving contains 24 grams of sugar, the whole bottle contains twice that – a whopping 48 grams.
Milk does contain some naturally occurring sugar (about 22 g per 14 ounces of low-fat milk). Taking this into account, these drinks still contain no less than 26 g of added sugar per bottle – that’s more than SIX teaspoons! The American Heart Association recommends that children aged 4 to 8 consume no more than 3 teaspoons of added sugar in an entire day. Preteens and teenagers are recommended to have no more than 5 to 8 teaspoons. Even adult women and men and are not recommended to have more than 6 or 9 teaspoons, respectively.
The real problem here isn’t that a company like Nestle decided to create a product like this. The problem is that it is tied to the Girl Scouts of America – an organization that prides itself on teaching young girls how to become strong leaders to “make the world a better place.” Sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to more than 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide each year. Licensing the Girl Scouts logo to help Nestle market a hyper-sweetened beverage to children (including their own members) certainly doesn’t set a good example about making beneficial contributions to society.
Nestle has tried to claim that this product is only being marketed towards adults. Sorry Nestle, but you lose that argument immediately when there is a cartoon bunny on the bottle.
Looking over the Girls Scouts website, it is apparent that the organization does attempt to address healthy eating in their programming. In fact, the organization states:
Girl Scouts of the USA recognizes that girls making healthy choices and promoting healthy living are necessary to the foundation they need to become strong leaders.
Marketing this product with the Girl Scouts logo is in direct contradiction to this concept, and I’m certainly not the only one who thinks so. You can read more from parents and advocates outraged by this issue, and even sign a petition asking Girl Scouts to stop marketing the drinks to kids.