Nutritionists warn diners to be wary of Warren Buffett's 'junk-food' portfolio

Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:30pm EDT
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By Barbara Goldberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Following Warren Buffett's investment advice may be smart but nutritionists say that eating too many of the "junk-food" products made by companies he has invested in isn't quite as wise.

His move on Wednesday to inject Velveeta cheese, Jell-O, Lunchables, Oscar Mayer wieners, and Kool-Aid into his portfolio, stuffs an already amply supplied larder. The additions came from the acquisition of Kraft Foods Group Inc KRFT.O by H.J. Heinz Co, which is controlled by 3G Capital and Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N: Quote).

His larder already included everything from Burger King's BKCBK.UL Triple Whopper burgers, Coca-Cola soft drinks and Tim Horton donuts to See's Candies and Dairy Queen icecream Blizzards, as well as such Heinz brands as Tomato Ketchup, Ore-Ida fries, bagel bites and T.G.I. Friday's mozzarella sticks.

Altogether, Buffett is assembling one of the biggest ranges of snack food brands in the world. Heinz does say on its website that its global portfolio "is centered on nutritious foods made with tomatoes, beans, fruits and vegetables" but nutritionists still regard many of the products as closer to the junk-food category.

One of the world's most successful investors, the "Oracle of Omaha"does, though, eat what he invests in. The 84-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N: Quote) relishes a high-sugar, high-salt diet that is akin, he has said, to eating like a 6-year-old.

"If somebody told me that I live a year longer by eating nothing but broccoli and asparagus from now on ... every day will seem like as long. I'll stick with the Cheetos and the Coke," Buffett told CNBC in March 2010.

Calls and emails to Buffett's office were not returned and Buffett's business partner, Charlie Munger, 91, was not available for comment.

His favorite breakfast of Coke paired with Utz Potato Stix - and including a daily minimum of another four Cokes (with a Cherry Coke to end a particularly long day) - might send any child ping-ponging off the walls.   Continued...

Financial investor Warren Buffett looks on during an announcement ceremony at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, January 28, 2015.   REUTERS/Jim Young