Scouting Calories for Charity: Girl Scout Cookies vs. Boy Scout Popcorn

Trail's End PopcornThe Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts teach children a lot of noble life lessons, but unfortunately their practice of using high-calorie snacks for fundraiser no longer seems noble in a nation facing an unprecedented childhood obesity crisis. It’s easy to pick apart the Girl Scout cookies for their inherently high levels of sugar and fat, but a closer look at the Trail’s End snacks sold to support the Boy Scouts shows they are little better.

On the FAQ page of the Trail’s End website, there is a discussion of the health benefits of popcorn, which is a whole grain. However, the amount of added sodium, sugar and fat in the Trail’s End products pretty much negate this one healthy aspect. For example, the ingredients list on the Classic Carmel Corn reveals that three forms of sugar precede the actual popcorn. Also of concern are the artificial flavors and colors found in a number of these products. The nuts found in the trail mix may offer some real nutrients as a snack, but again the 10 grams of sugar show’s there’s an awful lot of candy.

Below is a quick look at some of the most popular Girl Scout Cookies and Trail’s End Snacks.

Trail’s End

Boy Scouts Butter Light Popcorn
Calories: 230
Total Fat: 6 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Sodium: 380 milligrams
Sugar: 0 grams

Classic Caramel Corn
Calories: 100
Total Fat: 1 gram
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Sodium: 140 milligrams
Sugar: 17 grams

Unbelievable Butter Microwave Popcorn
Calories: 280
Total Fat: 11 grams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Sodium: 500 milligrams
Sugar: 0 grams

Classic Trail Mix
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Sodium: 60 milligrams
Sugar: 10 grams

Thin mints boxGirl Scout Cookies

Samoas (Caramel DeLights)
Calories: 150
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 55 milligrams
Sugar: 13 grams

Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)
Calories: 160
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 5 grams
Sodium: 95 milligrams
Sugar: 10 grams

Trefoils (Shortbread)
Calories: 170
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 2.7 grams
Sodium: 115 milligrams
Sugar: 4 grams

Thin Mints
Calories: 160
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: g grams
Sodium: 120 milligrams
Sugar: 10 grams

Of course, selling cookies and popcorn has become part of the scouting tradition. However, endorsing these sugary, processed snacks out of nostalgia is sending the wrong message. There are plenty of fundraisers that can promote healthy eating and active lifestyles, without pushing unhealthy foods onto people who want to support these organizations.

Also Read:

Guilt-Free School Fundraisers Are Replacing Candy Pushers

Savannah Smiles No Healthier Than Other Girl Scout Cookies

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