Doctors worried about childhood obesity want Girl Scout cookies off the market

Apr 2, 2014

Girl Scouts Sell Cookies From Street Trucks In New York City

Girl Scouts sell cookies as a winter storm moves in on February 8, 2013 in New York City. The scouts did brisk business, setting up shop in locations around Midtown Manhattan on National Girl Scout Cookie Day.; Credit: John Moore/Getty Images

The Girl Scouts and their cookies may be sweet, but all that temptation is drawing criticism from doctors and parents who feel the scouts’ tradition of selling cookies isn’t in line with modern public health.

Girl Scout cookie season is the biggest fundraising event for the group as well as a social phenomenon. But chowing down on Thin Mints and Samoas is unquestionably bad for you — the cookies are fatty and sugary, full of ingredients people are supposed to be avoiding — and even if you’re aiming for moderation, it’s hard to eat just one.

Critics say that Girl Scout cookies are just a sign of a larger problem with American hyperconsumption.

Cookie sales mimic other kinds of seasonal or limited-time gorging (Easter candy, McRib sandwiches, Halloween sweets, etc) that entice consumers and reinforce unhealthy habits. So what’s the alternative?

Should the Girl Scouts sell tofu or veggies? Should they invest in healthier, less delicious cookies? Should we all just quiet down and enjoy a Thin Mint (or 20)?


Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, Medical Director, Bariatric Medical Institute in Ottawa; Author, “The Diet Fix” (March 2014); Board-Certified Physician by the American Board of Bariatric (Obesity) Medicine; Blogs at


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