When I was a kid, one of my favorite treats was chocolate milk. A great big glass of milk (whole milk, not skim) with a heaping tablespoon of Nestle Quik.
True, it wasn’t the healthiest choice of beverage for a growing boy, but like I said, it was an occasional treat, and all of the good stuff in the milk helped to make up for the overdose of sugar in the chocolate milk powder.
Well, things certainly are different today. Today, good old fashioned chocolate milk has been re-placed, re-packaged, re-formulated and re-branded as PediaSure. And unlike chocolate milk, PediaSure is being marketed to parents as a source of complete and balanced nutrition for our kids.
Ahhhh, wasn’t that adorable. The poor little kid doesn’t like broccoli or chicken or waffles. But she sure likes her PediaSure. And that’s good news for Mom and Dad, because PediaSure is “a source of complete and balanced nutrition…for healthy growth”….and it’s pediatrician recommended.
Kinda like the doctor recommendation cigarettes from back in the day….so maybe, we want to think twice about this whole doctor recommendation thing.
For just a second, let’s try to be objective and take a closer look at Pediasure and what exactly makes up this “child-friendly” beverage. (okay, I have to admit that didn’t sound very objective)
Here is a little chart I put together comparing PediaSure and my childhood addiction, chocolate milk.
Note – I included a whole milk and a reduced fat chocolate milk in the comparison because I realize that no one drinks whole milk anymore because of the fear of cholesterol. And I am glad I did. It provided an interesting observation.
Here are some of my observations:
In fact, PediaSure ran another commercial highlighting the supplemental DHA in their product.
Here is some more info on life’sDHA. Feel free to scroll down if the details are too geeky for you.
- life’sDHA™ from algae is a vegetarian source of DHA. It’s produced, from start to finish, in an FDA-inspected facility with controls in place to ensure the highest quality.
- Martek’s microalgae are grown in fermentors that range in size from 80,000 to 260,000 liters. The algae are then harvested and processed to extract the DHA-rich oil. The finished product is a clear, amber-colored oil rich in DHA.
Back to PediaSure v.s Chocolate Milk
But most important….
and when we look at their Omega6 to Omega3 ratios, we see that:
And, as I have said before, having a diet with a high Omega6 : Omega3 ratio, is a bad, bad thing.
NOTE: While I don’t want to get into the whole organic vs factory farmed mild debate, it should also be noted that organic milk has been shown to have 71% more Omega3 fatty acids than conventional milk. Just some food for thought.
Here are a couple of studies – Study 1, Study 2
So, what does all of this mean?