Beware of Superfood Hype

Just about anywhere you look, people are pushing superfood as the answer to your dietary woes. It’s a great way to sell food. And it’s nothing particularly new. A case in point is välling, the cornerstone of a Swedish baby’s diet. Pediatric nurses and parents in Sweden swear by this milk cereal drink as perhaps the most important food for a healthy baby.

VällingA new study in the Scandanavian Journal of Public Health finds that this milk cereal drink might put the Swedish tots who consume it at risk for obesity. Children who consumed it were nearly five times more likely to have excess weight when they were followed up between the ages of two to nine. This risk was independent of breastfeeding exposure. But the investigators also noted that infants who consumed välling were also likely to have shorter exposure to breastfeeding.

This research is just a clue that superfoods are no guarantee of perfect health, no matter how unified the consensus is for their benefits.

Kale, quinoa, and blueberries are three wonderful foods currently at the top of the list of popular superfoods. Enjoy them in moderation. Superfoods won’t make you superhuman.

Click here to read the study, and here to read more about välling.

Superfoods, photograph © slgckgc / flickr

Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.