Cookies Aren’t Good for You? WhoNu?

12 Aug

Cookies Aren’t Good for You? WhoNu?

There’s an old adage in the nutrition world, “If it looks like a cookie and it tastes like a cookie…it’s a cookie.” Well, leave it to the makers of WhoNu? “Nutrition Rich” Cookies to indelibly justify this cliche.

WhoNu? Cookies are the brainchild of some packaged food folks who want to take the confusion out of eating well. You like cookies. Cookies aren’t good for you. Let’s make a cookie that we pretend is good for you.

Infantile spelling of the product name aside, the uninspired mechanisms by which these cookies claim to be “nutritious” are plastered about the loud orange packaging:

OK, let’s break this down:

  • As much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal!

Yeah but that fiber isn’t from whole grains or any other naturally occurring source of fiber, it’s from an isolated, functional fiber – the type that we’re not even sure conveys health benefits. (Read more about fake fibers here.)

  • As much calcium and vitamin D as an 8 oz glass of milk!

Never mind that there’s no data indicating supplemental calcium is any more well-absorbed than naturally occurring sources, aren’t there some other redeeming qualities to milk: protein, phosphorus, vitamin A, etc?

  • As much Vitamin C as a cup of blueberries!

Big deal, all fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C. Eat them to get your needs.

  • As much iron as a cup of spinach!

There’s not really that much iron in a cup of raw spinach, which is what it looks like they’re comparing in the picture. A cup of cooked spinach or an animal flesh food that’s actually high in heme iron – the more easily absorbed type of iron? Now we’re talking.

  • As much Vitamin E as two cups of carrot juice!

Because vitamin E is widespread in vegetable oils – and we all eat too much oil – there’s no concern about Americans not meeting vitamin E needs.

  • As much Vitamin B12 as a cup of cottage cheese and fruit!

A well-balanced diet has plenty of vitamin B12 – and if you get too much of it, it’s a water-soluble vitamin, so you just pee out the excess. Great selling point.

  • As much vitamin A as an 8 oz glass of tomato juice!

Drink a cup of milk for vitamin A – not a one cup serving of tomato juice that has more than half of your daily sodium allotment.

Wait, so these cookies really aren’t that good for you? Well, if you have been offended and/or duped by the nutritious claims of the WhoNu? cookie product, consider contacting this forward-thinking law firm, who appear to be soliciting like-minded individuals for a class action lawsuit: Meiselman, Denlea, Packman, Carton & Eberz P.C. Attorneys at Law.

No doubt, eating right isn’t always easy. But you don’t have to be stupid about it either. And thinking you can eat a cookie instead of a well-balanced diet full of whole grains, lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables? Sounds stupid. Who knew?

9 Responses to “Cookies Aren’t Good for You? WhoNu?”

  1. Natasha Kay August 15, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Refreshing website — thank you for sharing these insightful articles and helping to spread the word. I hate seeing people duped into eating “healthy” when it’s really not healthy at all.

  2. Yay Cookies October 26, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    This is silly. Do you honestly think what this advertising is attempting to do is make people eat cookies instead of other foods? I’m eating these right now, and I’ll be honest, I like them waaaaayyy more than Oreos. And they’re cheaper at my grocery store, maybe because of goofy blog posts like this one. So, obviously cookies are not good for you. Most people know this, thus when buying cookies, the health conscious often seek out foods with maximum benefit and minimum damage. Is this cookie any better for me? Well, that’s not 100% clear, fortified stuff is terribly iffy. Is it any worse? Not as far as I can tell! So chill out. They’re just trying to capitalize on a niche market. And why give class action lawsuits like this one more business? Like the world needs another reason to call Americans stupid. It is not up to companies to educate us about our dietary needs.

    • brian May 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  3. Robin Taylor November 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Actually, some Americans are low in vitamin E. Not that I would recommend a cookie as the best source, but you seem excessively critical of something that is intended to be cookie. They are simply trying to make a healthier cookie with some added vitamins and minerals. What’s wrong with that? I don’t think anyone with sense would think the company is suggesting these cookies are a substitute for fruit, vegetables, or meats. I agree with Yay Cookies.

  4. Nicole K. February 18, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    As a nutritionist, working with children and parents I like to see articles like this that make parents think twice. I repeatedly tell parents that whole foods are better than the juices, Pediasure, and supplement shakes made in factories. People more savvy about nutrition would certainly understand this, but it’s always surprising how many parents buy into the Pediasure commercial messages. No doubt there are children who need Pediasure for medical reasons such as severe food allergy or failure to thrive, but fewer healthy children need that product than the commercials let on. Let’s teach your average consumer that claims made by a food manufacturer are not as great as they seem. Let’s raise a generation of people who are suspicious of these claims and don’t rely on manufactures for nutrition education! I hate being fooled, but even more, I hate seeing parents fooled. Let’s face it, companies tap into our nutrition concerns because we are vulnerable. We are vulnerable because we think that pouring a tubes of vitamin A and elemental iron into cookie dough somehow makes the cookies better for us because the packaging claims so…

  5. Jess March 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Hi. I know this is a rather long time after this article was posted, but in the FAQ on the whonu website, it says they are referring to cooked spinach, not raw spinach. Please let me know if you have any other information against Whonu cookies, or your sources for this article. I am writing a research paper on falsifications in advertisements of foods.
    Thanks :)

  6. Grace June 5, 2012 at 5:12 am #

    All cookies are bad. Duh. But if you were going to have a cookie as a snack, wouldn’t you choose one that’s a littler healthier than the rest?

    It’s not wrong for someone to indulge once in a while. Everything in moderation, not deprivation.

    • Victorious Maidhof January 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm #


      There are ways to indulge in treats without buying packaged foods that claim to have health benefits. Homemade nut bars using natural sweeteners like dates, agave, or maple syrup for example. In my opinion, it’s important to know what you are putting in your body. If a label has an extensive list of ingredients, especially ones that are difficult to pronounce, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. I don’t understand why indulging means eating low quality junk. There are healthier ways to “indulge” which are more delicious and will not leave you feeling guilty.


  7. Serge Alex Gagnon March 30, 2015 at 8:13 am #

    All cookies suck, don’t fall for them.

    Moderate indulgence is not even decent; food bad in excess is just as bad in moderation.

    In the future we will think of cookies, deserts, stimulants and pleasure traps alike the way we currently think of cigarettes.

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