America, a nation composed primarily of suckers, is always ready to fall headfirst for this or that new "health trend." Some are outright scams, while others are merely true facts that have been manipulate to render them indistinguishable from scams in practice. Behold: protein.

Protein! The hot new trend in American packaged food is that everyone is buying anything that says "PROTEIN" on it, whether the protein comes from roadkill or genetically modified soy. The point is that "PROTEIN" sends a very clear signal consumers, which says: You, the consumer, do not remember one bit of high school chemistry, yet you have the vague feeling that "PROTEIN" is somehow good for you, so buy this product now. The WSJ reports:

When people eat food that promises to be a good source of whole grains, fiber or protein "it makes you feel smart as a consumer that you've done something good for yourself," says Doug VanDeVelde, senior vice president of food marketing and innovation for Kellogg's...

In past decades, consumers responded to messages like "low fat," "low sugar," and "no cholesterol." Now over half of consumers are looking for more protein and fiber for breakfast, Mr. VanDeVelde says.

You, the consumer, have absolutely no idea what is or is not healthy, nor do you have the tools to determine what is or is not healthy. Instead, you simply float from fad to fad, encased in a warm cocoon of marketing slogans by the Kellogg's™ corporation. Soon, the "PROTEIN" craze will fade away, to be replaced by some other food data point unrelated to the concept of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Consider, America: you are the most obese nation on earth. You'll pardon us if we doubt your ability to analyze food marketing trends properly.

In the meantime, try the Jimmy Dean Meat Lovers Breakfast Bowl. It has protein.

[WSJ. Photo: Brett Jordan/ Flickr]