When the Obama administration rolled out new Smart Snack federal guidelines, a lot of states declared them too strict and impossible. But where others say I can’t, the good people at Cheetos say, “Challenge accepted. Let’s shake on it with orange dust on our fingers”:
These aren’t just any Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. They’re a reformulated version with less fat, less salt and more whole grains. But is that really what the scientists at the Institute of Medicine had in mind when they wrote the recommendations that would become the Smart Snack rules?
“Well, probably not,” says Virginia Stallings, a professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She chaired the committee that helped make the federal rules.
“I thought the top sellers might be things that had more nutrients in them than Flamin’ Hot Cheetos,” she says. “But let me say that one of the things we were absolutely expecting and appreciate is that the food companies would look at these recommendations and they would, in fact, reformulate their products.”
These Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are certainly better for you than OG Cheetos, but does that make them good for you? Not really. The Cheetos diet probably won’t take off. But it probably takes us one step closer to whole-grain Twinkies dredged in coconut oil (for health!)