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Candy masquerading as vitamins

“A whole new way to take your vitamins!”

That’s the pitch for a product called Vitaball – a gumball vitamin for kids.

Of course, candy vitamins are nothing new. Various chewable cartoon character vitamins have been around for years. And while I’ve also seen gummy bear vitamins, there’s something about gumballs that crosses the line into pure candy-counter bright reds, yellows, and greens.

It’s as if they’re saying, “Oh who’s kidding who? It’s candy! Just give them what they want!”

According to the packaging, one Vitaball contains “100 % of the daily value of 11 essential vitamins.” In other words, your kids won’t be getting a substantial amount of vitamins from a single gumball. For instance, one Vitaball delivers only a meager 10 mg of pantothenic acid, and a puny 60 mg dollop of vitamin C. But maybe that’s a good thing. A friend of mine has a 9-year-old boy who regards chewing gum as a contest to see how much gum he can fit in his mouth and still be able to move his jaw. So if he averages a dozen Vitaballs a day, he probably still won’t be in danger of over-consuming his daily vitamins.

Vitaballs may skimp on vitamins, but as candy they qualify with no problem. Each gumball delivers 4 full grams of carbohydrates, all as sugar. And of course, Vitaballs also contain food coloring, which has been shown to be a possible trigger for ADHD.

File this one under “There’s got to be a better way,” and sit those kids down to a big plate of spinach. After all, it’s bright green, too.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute

Vitaballs Vitamin Gumballs,