adBlockCheck

Report: Hostess May Have Marketed Unhealthy 'Twinkies' To Minors

Top Headlines

Recent News

How Fashion Trends Arise

With the growing popularity of “fast fashion,” or designs that move quickly from the runway to retail chains, many wonder how their favorite styles first arise. The Onion breaks down the process step by step

SpaceX’s Plan To Colonize Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk continues to lay the groundwork to attempt the human colonization of Mars. Here’s a step-by-step guide to his plan:

Bill Clinton Resting Up To Sit Upright At Next Debate

CHAPPAQUA, NY—Stating that the former commander-in-chief had his sights squarely set on next Sunday, spokespeople for the Hillary for America campaign informed reporters Wednesday that Bill Clinton is currently resting up in preparation for another evening of sitting upright at the next presidential debate.

Cyclist Clearly Loves Signaling Turns

MILWAUKEE—Judging by the firm outward thrust of the woman’s arm and the length of times she held the gestures, witnesses confirmed Wednesday that a local bicycle rider clearly loves signaling turns.

Fact-Checking The First Presidential Debate

Addressing issues ranging from national security to trade to their personal controversies, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump squared off in the first presidential debate Monday. The Onion takes a look at the validity of their bolder claims:

Details Of Dream House Getting Much Less Specific With Each New Place Found In Price Range

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX—With her initially stated desire for restored wide-plank floors and a walk-in pantry having already been broadened to any hardwood or laminate flooring and decent kitchen storage space, sources confirmed Friday that aspiring homeowner Chelsea Lange has supplied a progressively vaguer description of her dream home with each new place she reviews in her price range.

Viewers Impressed By How Male Trump Looked During Debate

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying the Republican nominee exhibited just the qualities they were looking for in the country’s next leader, viewers throughout the nation reported Monday night that they were impressed by how male Donald Trump appeared throughout the first debate.

Poll: 89% Of Debate Viewers Tuning In Solely To See Whether Roof Collapses

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Explaining that the American people showed relatively little interest in learning more about the nominees’ economic, counterterrorism, or immigration policies, a new Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 89 percent of viewers were tuning into Monday night’s presidential debate solely to see whether the roof collapses on the two candidates.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Report: Hostess May Have Marketed Unhealthy 'Twinkies' To Minors

WASHINGTON, DC–According to a controversial Federal Trade Commission report released Tuesday, food manufacturer Hostess may have intentionally marketed "Twinkies"–a dangerous snack cake linked to obesity and hyperactivity–to minors.

The controversial cartoon mascot critics claim targets children.

"There is substantial evidence supporting the claim that, for decades, Hostess has carried out an aggressive marketing campaign with the goal of promoting Twinkie use among underage consumers," the FTC report read. "Our nation's children have been targeted for the consumption of these fattening, unwholesome cakes at a vulnerable age, before they are old enough to make responsible decisions about health and nutrition."

The report also stated that "as a result of Hostess' targeting of minors, millions of young bodies have been exposed to potentially harmful substances such as fat, sugar, cholesterol, polysorbate 60, calcium sulfate, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and caramel color."

Among the questionable Hostess marketing tactics the FTC report cites: positioning Twinkies billboards in the direct view of schoolyards, airing Twinkies ads on Saturday-morning TV and, most notably, developing and aggressively promoting "Twinkie The Kid," a smiling, lariat-wielding cowboy cartoon mascot shaped like a Hostess Twinkie.

"With Twinkie The Kid, Hostess has deliberately set out to glamorize the Twinkie-eating lifestyle among our nation's young people," the report read. "Since Hostess' introduction of this Twinkie-advocating cartoon spokescake in 1975, use of the product among 12- to 18-year-olds has risen an alarming 240 percent."

A group of Stockton, CA, teens eat Twinkies behind their junior high school.

"Eating Twinkies is cool," said Emporia, KS, 16-year-old Jason Warriner, who has been a Twinkie user since age 11. "I didn't like them at first, but all my friends were eating them, so I started doing it too because I wanted to fit in. Now, I love them–I'm practically addicted."

"Twinkies are the best," said Utica, NY, 14-year-old Chris Petoskey. "My mom won't let me have them, but I sneak out and eat them behind the 7-11 whenever I get the chance."

Alarmed by the product's rise in popularity among minors, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) recently drafted legislation aimed at curbing underage Twinkie use. The bill, which allocates $255 million for PSAs and after-school specials like ABC's recent The Boy Who Liked Twinkies, would also prohibit the snack cake from being advertised in youth-oriented publications like Boys' Life and Archie comics. Additionally, it would also ban the airing of TV ads featuring Twinkie The Kid before 10 p.m. Similar Hostess characters, including Captain Cupcake, Chauncey Chocodile, King Don and Fruit Pie The Magician, were voluntarily pulled from the air in the late '70s amid similar controversy.

A 1994 internal memo from Hostess CEO Jack Hollis to the company's VP of marketing.

Hostess received more bad news Tuesday, when 17 states joined together to file a $206 billion class-action suit to settle claims over the costs associated with treating overweight Twinkie eaters. The suit is based on a precedent-setting 1996 case in which a North Carolina jury held Tastykake responsible for a 460-pound Creme Krimpies addict's death. Tastykake was ordered to pay the victim's family $950,000, the largest-ever award of punitive damages in a snack-food-related casualty.

Despite numerous American Medical Association studies linking Twinkies to obesity, hyperactivity and tooth decay, Hostess officials vehemently denied that sustained use of their product causes any adverse health effects.

"Contrary to AMA claims, there is no conclusive evidence demonstrating that regular consumption of Twinkies poses any significant health risk to the eater," Hostess chief corporate counsel Richard Weingarten said. "Furthermore, the character of Twinkie The Kid is a thoroughly adult character who engages only in mature activities not in any way recommended for children, such as law enforcement and rodeo theatrics. Twinkies are as safe and socially responsible as they are delicious."

Added Weingarten: "Responsible, consenting adults get a big delight in every bite of Hostess Twinkies."

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close