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The World's Largest Food Company Admits 28% of Its Products Aren't "Healthy"

Several may be in your pantry right now.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story stated that 60% of Nestlé's products are unhealthy, per other reports. However, according to a report from Kepler Cox, the number is actually closer to 28% once items like pet care, beverages, and coffee are excluded.

It's no secret that candy and chocolate aren't superfoods, but the companies that make them have never really acknowledged their weak nutritional value… that is, until now.

Nestlé—the world's largest food company that owns brands like Gerber, Cheerios, San Pellegrino, Hot Pockets, Lean Cuisine, Carnation, Nesquik, Häagen-Dazs, and more—recently admitted in its own internal documents that over 28% of the food and drinks it produces are unhealthy.

"We have made significant improvements to our products . . . [but] our portfolio still underperforms against external definitions of health in a landscape where regulatory pressure and consumer demands are skyrocketing," the presentation said, according to The Financial Times, which saw the Nestlé report firsthand.

Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now

The presentation says that only 37% of Nestlé's products score above the "recognized definition of health" of 3.5 on Australia's 5-star health rating system. Several products also received an "E" score (which is the worst score that can be given) on another rating system called Nutri-Score.

For example, both San Pellegrino's canned orange soda and Nestlé Strawberry Nesquik have large amounts of sugar… which don't qualify as healthy options.

In response to the leaked info, Nestlé says it has reduced the sugars and sodium in its products by about 14-15% in the past seven years, but will continue to work to make them all healthier, Reuters reports.

In the past, Nestlé has dismissed the idea that the "processed" foods it produces are unhealthy. So, this new admission from the company is a rare about-face for the large food manufacturer.

For tips on how to reduce the number of unhealthy fats, sodium, and sugar in your diet, here are some tricks that can help:

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more
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