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Juice Not Worth the Squeeze: Michelle Obama's Brand Fails Administration's Own Health Standards, Experts Claim

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Michelle Obama's office denied conversations she's planning to run for president.

May 19 2023, Published 6:45 p.m. ET

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Michelle Obama's juice brand doesn't live up to the health standards set by the Obama administration, experts claimed in a shocking new report.

Her low-sugar Plezi drinks tout their many benefits, RadarOnline.com has learned, including being 75 percent less sugar than other leading fruit juices as well as 2 grams of fiber per bottle in flavors that children love: Tropical Punch, Orange Smash, Sour Apple and Berry Blast.

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Even so, they wouldn't make the cut, according to public health advocates who spoke with Bloomberg.

"Under the Obama-era school-meal regulations currently under review, US elementary and middle schools may only serve water, milk, or 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice with no added sweeteners (the regulations do permit schools to dilute juices with water) — and none of Plezi's four current flavors meet these criteria," the article read.

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Michelle had lobbied for healthy school meals, but critics said that her attempt to offer kids something healthier than soda still isn't up to par with "non-nutritive sweeteners" in their beverages such as stevia leaf and monk-fruit extracts.

"She has been ill-served by advisers who convinced her to start by targeting 6-to 12-year-olds with a flashy, ultra-processed beverage that may not be any healthier than diet soda," nutrition professor Jerold Mande told the publication.

"Kids are also better off getting the intact fiber in fruit, rather than the processed fiber added to Plezi," said Bonnie Liebman, nutrition director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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On the contrary, others said that Michelle's drinks are a less sugar-filled choice than soda and fine to have every once in a while.

"[Low]-calorie sweetened drinks can be a reasonable alternative on occasion, keeping in mind that water and milk are the healthiest choices," a spokesperson for the American Heart Association explained.

That was noted in Plezi's ingredients page on their website, which stated that "once kids become school-aged," more often than not "drinking only water and milk isn't a reality."

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Their juices are intended for kids ages 6 and up, and the site highlighted that it's important for children to drink enough water, offering tips on how to make that happen.

RadarOnline.com has reached out to Plezi for comment.

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