Nutritionist slams Kiwis' Weetbix love affair

  • 13/07/2017
Nutritionist Mikki Williden
Weetbix are low on nutrients, says nutritionist Mikki Williden. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand's long-held emotional attachment to Weetbix could be getting in the way of our health, according to nutritionist Mikki Williden.

Dr Williden broke this news to New Zealanders on Facebook this week by saying: "I always feel a twinge of guilt when I post negative things about Weetbix to be honest."

Her comments come after the latest All Blacks television advertisement endorsing Weetbix as a healthy breakfast option to "help set you up for a big morning of training".

"As if a bowl of Weetbix is going to fuel the All Blacks through a heavy morning of training! It is totally false advertising, especially for what they have to do to remain fit, strong and world champions. Weetbix is not going to cut it," Dr Williden said.

She told NZ Newswire "there is a lot of nostalgia around Weetbix" but it didn't contain everything that was needed.

The most common reply she gets to her views on Weetbix is: "I ate it when I was a kid and I'm fine."

"But is this really true?" she asks.

"You just have to look at the public health figures and really question our diet.

"We are missing a real opportunity to get the nutrients we need from other food."

Dr Williden said there is this perception that healthy food is expensive or too time consuming, but it doesn't have to be.

"There are so many other options out there like making a frittata at the weekend and eating that for breakfast, or hard boiling a dozen eggs and keeping them in the fridge, or putting cream on your porridge with an apple grated through it."

But cereal company Sanitarium is standing by its iconic product, sayings it's a simple meal for frantic breakfast times.

One of its nutritionists, Stephanie Polson, says Weetbix can easily be customised with different toppings to suit different nutritional needs.

The company's latest ads and packaging encouraged people to add extras to their Weetbix, such as fruits, Ms Polson said.

"We even provide ideas for toppings on the website."

Even without extras, Weetbix still provided vitamins B1, B2, B3, folate and iron, fibre and was low on sugar, she said.