Girl Scouts' New Cookie Raises Nutritional Questions

The Girl Scouts' newest cookie has nutritionists questioning just how healthy the latest confection is. Mango Crème with NutriFusion includes one ingredient that is different from regular Girl Scout cookies, one that has not been scientifically proven to offer any of the nutrition it promises.

According to ABC Smart Cookies, the troops are rolling out a new cookie, the Mango Crème with NutriFusion. The cookie itself consists of "crunchy vanilla and coconut cookies [featuring] a mango-flavored crème filling with all the nutrient benefits of eating cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, grapes, and strawberries!"

"So go ahead and eat that cookie: it's like you're having a fruit salad," ABC Smart Cookies insists.

But what gives the cookie its nutrition? A product called NutriFusion, which is described as "a gift from nature" on its website. NutriFusion "is 100 percent from fruits and vegetables; can provide the nutrient-rich benefits of fruits and vegetables in everyday food products; is easily understood – little consumer education needed; and offers bio-absorption."

Of course, there is some question about the health claims made by NutriFusion.

"Let's be clear here – even with NutriFusion, the Mango Cremes are still a cookie, not some sort of magical health food. These cookies may be delicious (we haven't tried them), but there's no need to force a square peg in a round hole here – the 'nutrients derived from fruits' don't suddenly turn a cookie into the health-equivalent of eating an apple."

The Girl Scouts are hoping that the addition of NutriFusion will entice customers concerned about their health habits. With childhood, and adult, obesity on the rise, it's the perfect time to roll out a "healthier" cookie. Yet adding a supplement to the sugary snack will not automatically make it good for you.

Girl Scout cookies go on sale only once per year, and in order to learn when the troops will be selling cookies, the Girl Scouts have created new "Official Girl Scout Cookie Apps" for the iPhone and Android phones. You can also go online to learn more.