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CVS, Starbucks Highlight America’s Love-Hate Relationship With Sugar

Health food labeling can lead to better choices, but it can misdirect consumers, too, experts say

CVS-Starbcucks
CVS Handout, AP

Healthy foods are taking real estate from candy at some CVS stores, the store chain announced Thursday, a response to changing customer preferences and shopping habits, NBC News reported.

In CVS Pharmacy's new store prototype there's less space for sugary snacks, particularly at the front of the store, where healthier food, vitamins, supplements and cosmetics with more natural ingredients will be displayed.

"It seems pretty clear that CVS has a fairly serious approach to trying to create a healthier environment in its stores," said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, pointing to its 2014 decision to stop selling tobacco products.

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But she and other food branding experts note that health food labeling can mislead or misdirect consumers, too. The fancifully colored "Unicorn" Frappuccino from Starbucks could have as much as 76 grams of sugar, because Starbucks is known more for coffee than milkshakes.

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