How Betty Crocker duped generations of youngsters with the obesity-inducing breakfast of chocolate milk & “tiny doughnuts” cereal aka Cheerios.

As greenwashing describes bogus eco-friendly claims of products, is there a neologism for fake health food? For their prefab PB&J sandwiches, Smucker’s already coined Uncrustables, which are probably as barfy as they sound.  Bisquackery perhaps? Or Wonderbreading? I’ve been pondering this ever since I came across these oh-so-wrong images on my box of Wheaties.

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As it turns out, the clever marketing department at General Mills has already coined a Sniglet for dousing your wheat flakes with chocolate milk: Muddies.

Really.

The Wheaties folks cite studies that claim chocolate milk is an excellent workout-recovery beverage. What they don’t say is that at least one major such study was sponsored by the Dairy and Nutrition Council, Inc. (A blog called Bite My Words did a nice rant about the chocolate-milk-and-exercise myth a while back.)

It gets better. A quick Google search turned up a 1947 Life magazine advertorial in which the fake persona of Betty Crocker liberates women from the tyranny of making Sunday breakfast with a smorgasbord of cereals and yummy “fixings.” One of the toppings every smart mother should have on the table is, you guessed it, chocolate milk.

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Even better, they describe Cheerios as “the new ready-to-eat cereal which looks like tiny doughnuts.” Nothing like a healthful helping of chocolate milk and doughnuts to entice “even the smallest member of the family…[to] help himself.” Of course, this was just the beginning of the hideous assortment of super-sugary empty-calories-in-a-box cereals that clog our supermarket aisles today. So, you can thank the Greatest Generation for setting the table back in the day in way that helped launch the obesity epidemic for future generations to come.

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