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After writing my last article pertaining to the spark energy drink, I have to admit I was left with some concerns. Well, at least one major concern. After reading about parents giving their kids the spark energy drink, I began wondering what other Advocare products they might be giving them. Should children be taking any of the other Advocare products would probably be a better question. Well, let me give you a list of the products Advocare endorses for children(Link). There, that was easy, the one link wonder. That link will lead you to Advocare Internationals product age, pregnancy, and nursing indications chart. If you open the link you will find that Advocare has approved the consumption of all of their nutrition bars for children ages 4 and up. But, they do deflect the responsibility back to the parents and doctors by putting a † symbol after the word older. Its not actually the right symbol but it is close. Scroll down and you will see the following Advocare disclaimer:
"† We strongly recommend that decisions concerning products given to minors, include parental and healthcare provider involvement. Product appropriateness may depend upon the individual’s weight, maturity, sports involvement and other factors"
Please do not misunderstand me, I am not pointing fingers at just Advocare. I am using them because they seem to be the most popular at this time. My question to the parents that are offering the Advocare snacks to their children is, do you know how much sucralose those products contain? Neither do I because product manufacturers are not required by the FDA to provide that information. I am not going to go crazy looking for the proof that the amount of sucralose is not monitored by the FDA. All parents need to do is read the label (here). Users are not given a quantity, and to me that is relevant. You might be asking why does that matter if sucralose is safe for consumption and FDA approved. There is a recommended daily intake chart provided by the FDA that indicated to me a daily intake value to be at "25 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day". Why is the FDA concerned with the levels of sucralose if it has been deemed safe for human consumption, and has no negative affects? Hard to count all the sucralose a child is ingesting if you do not know how much is in each product. So what is the point of having a recommended daily intake if the FDA does not require them to provide that information. Parents also need to take into consideration the weight and activity level of the child in question. That is also a warning given by Advocare on the chart I provided. Advocare offers the daily intake value for a 2000 calorie diet, but are those stats applicable to children? Does your child even need increased levels of niacin? If you go to the National Institute of Health government site they do not list niacin on their vitamin and mineral sheet (here). Why not?
I read an article by Brian Hook titled "Start Your Day The Right Way", where he claims to send one of those bars with his kid in a lunch pal (here). Is the child going to eat lunch and the bar, or just the bar? Brian also makes the claim that the Advocare bars are "healthy". Well, I wanted to find out if Advocare was making the same "healthy" claim, so I visited their website (here). Before I go any further I want to acknowledge that I am uncertain as to the date of the product age chart provided earlier, as it does not appear to have a date. It appears that it may be an older chart because the age Advocare is suggesting on their website is now 12 and older. The aforementioned link is for the AdvoBar chocolate peanut butter flavored. The unfortunate truth is that many parents are still giving their children Advocare products, so changing the age probably is irrelevant. So, getting back to the "healthy" claim made by Brian Hook. Advocare uses the word health, but does not clearly make the claim that the bars are "healthy". Why not? Well, I will tell you why. Have you ever heard about the Kind Healthy Snack Bar? They were warned by the FDA March 17, 2015 for violating "section 403 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 343] and its implementing regulations found in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 101 (21 CFR 101)" (here). If you read the warning letter you will notice that a product that contains saturated fat content of 1 g or less can make the claim of being "healthy", as long as all other statutory criteria is met. If you take a look at the product label of the AdvoBar (here), you will notice that there is 2.5g of saturated fat in the chocolate peanut butter flavored bar. Why is having more than 1g of saturated fat not healthy? You would have to ask someone a little bit more proficient in the health food industry (Here). I just provide viable information with viable proof indicating what I am talking about exist, and let you decide where to go next.
If you click on the "try some" button at the end of Brian's post you will be taken to Amazon.com, where he is clearly violating Advocare rules and regulations (here) in many ways. Some people might argue that he is not a distributor, and they may very well be correct. Unfortunately, he is buying the product from someone, right? I have warned distributors before that any breach of your contract can lead to your disqualification, and information on the internet does not disappear easily. For example, Jamie McKee is an Advocare distributor (here). She has made the following claim online:
"Gingerbread AdVoBars are Back!!!!! Healthy and delicious on-the-go snack for the Holidays. Available for a limited time only!" (here).
Now, I do not particularly care if she believes the AdvoBar is "healthy", but it is a violation of Advocare policies and opens the door for Advocare to easily have her removed.
Getting back to the consumption of Advocare products by children and young adults. There are many products Advocare promotes, that on their own, may not be a concern. But what if parents are in a hurry and they decide to give their 12 year old for breakfast a meal replacement shake, v100 multivitamin, and an AdvoBar for lunch. Do you have any idea how much sucralose she/he has consumed? How much daily nutrition has been obtained prior to dinner or in between snacks? Well, we all know that I can not tell you how much sucralose is being consumed as they do not provide that information. But I can give you an idea of how much other nutrients have been consumed. If you go back to the three links I just provided and do the math, you will see that any young adult, 12 or older, that consumes just those three products will supper exceed the daily value of A(165%), C(165%), D(165%), E(165%), B-6(150%), B-12(180%), Niacin(165%), Thiamine(165%), and Riboflavin(165%) just to name a few. Not to mention 21g of sugar, and 40 grams of protein. If you look below all of the labels you will see other products such as corn syrup and sucralose that do not have quantities. Take into consideration that children 12 and older can take two of the multivitamin, most of the vitamin counts would increase to 265%. That is almost double the daily requirement of an adult.
There are concerns that kids maybe getting too much vitamins and there maybe some health concerns associated with such practices (here). Vitamin A, Zinc, and Niacin seem to be the main concerns. I am not going to sit here and say that I have never offered my child a snack. But I have always provided real food for my children, and claiming your too busy to stop by the local store to pick up fruits and vegetables sounds like an excuse to me. Especially when you are paying $20 to $30 for 12 bars, or $21 to $35 for a bag of vitamins. Please do not get me wrong, I understand there are days where a quick snack is necessary. But that does not negate your responsibility to chose the healthiest unhealthy food for your children. I assure you there are snacks or meal replacements that are much healthier, you just have to take the time to look. To be able to provide Advocare product to your children you have to know someone, be a distributor, or get online and order it at a much higher price. I am going to bet you are a distributor or know someone, and that is fine. But if you can take the time to sell the product or order from your friend, you have time to stop at the store and pick up some healthy food for your children that does not include expensive supplements. If you do not believe me, take the word of Dr Czys. His article covers the importance of eating right and sticking to it. Even if your child is overweight you can utilize the Advocare eating plan to begin a good eating habit and help them stick to it. Eating too much vegetables or fruits would be a better solution in my opinion.
I am not a healthcare professional, and I would really suggest to everyone to consult your child's doctor before providing Advocare products to them. I know I have asked this question before but I am going to ask it again. What is the point of ordering a bunch of supplements when you are done with the 24 day challenge? If you learned everything Advocare wanted you to learn about how to start your healthy living, then eating right, and exercise should have been the end result, right? Not buying a bunch of products.
I am going to tell you the answer. It is because Advocare relies on the sale of those products, and not so much on you becoming healthy. If they were more concerned about you being healthy, they would just give you the meal plans and skip the supplements. They want you to give their products to your children, your friends, and yourself, because that is how they continue to exist. But do they really care about you or your children? If you want to take the risk, I say that is fine. But you should really sit back, and think about it before you take the step towards giving your child supplements.
As usual please feel free to give me your thoughts and provide viable links to support your opinion. Thank you for taking the time to read another lengthy post.
Please check out my article pertaining toAdvocare targeting our school system!!!!