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Nutritionists Say Snack Bars Are Junk Food Disguised As Health Food

December 13, 2010: 05:28 AM EST

The search by health-conscious consumers in Canada (and elsewhere) for nutritious foods that are also convenient has spurred the dramatic growth of snack bars, including granola, cereal and breakfast bars. In Canada alone – where consumers eat 73 snack bars a year on average – the market is worth $720 million. But some nutrition experts say snack bars are just junk food. According to a nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “They’re basically cookies masquerading as health food.” A comparison of the fat, sodium, sugar and caloric content of a Nature Valley peanut butter bar with a Kit Kat candy bar shows them to be very similar. Originally a healthy mixture of rolled oats, nuts and spices, granola bars are often loaded with chocolate, marshmallows, sugar and artificial flavors.

Carly Weeks, "Granola bars: A healthy snack or dressed- up junk food?", Toronto Globe and Mail, December 13, 2010, © CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc.
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