10 Weird Vintage Food Ads That Would Not Be Allowed Today

I’ve written a ton of vintage-centric posts here on Gurl, including ones about vintage ads. From vintage ads for feminine hygiene products to vintage ads that body shame in the most awkward way, the ads of yesteryear are so weird from a 21st century perspective. Why? Probably because they’re simultaneously politically incorrect and innocent. That same ignorance can definitely be seen in wacky food ads of the time. Seriously, there were ads suggesting that multiple tablespoons of sugar were the keys to health. Pretty sure that would be banned today for false advertising or something. I mean, hey, I love sugar as much as the next chick, but let’s be real.

Sugar is just the beginning of the fake science weirdness. Check out these 10 vintage food ads that totally wouldn’t be allowed today.

Sugar Is All You Need To Lose Weight

For decades, ads touted sugar as healthy because it provides the body with energy. Sure, that's true, but after the sugar rush comes a crash. Plus, eating too much sugar definitely lowers our interest in doing anything active. I'm all about eating some cookies, but under the guise that it's going to be the key to weight loss? LOL nah.

Vitamin Donuts

DONUTS ARE GOOD FOR YOU BECAUSE THEY HAVE VITAMINS IN THEM...or something. Tons of foods have vitamins in them. That doesn't mean you should rely on them as your key source of vitamins. That said, some donuts sound awesome right now.

Butter Is Better

Butter is the best. But it's sort of funny how the dairy lobby managed to find a way to sell butter as a mandatory addition to a growing youth's diet. Nothing like a giant ladle of butter on your spinach to promote strong bones!

Start 'Em Young

This ad straight up says that 7up is "so wholesome, that you can even give it to babies and feel good about it." I'm not an expert on babies or anything, but something tells me that feeding one some 7up every morning probably isn't the best idea, no matter how wholesome it is.

Chocolate Is All You Need For Health

I think I speak for all of us when I say that I wish chocolate was the stepping stone to health. Actually, dark chocolate has some great antioxidants, but I'm skeptical as to whether or not guzzling Hershey's chocolate will offer many positive effects.

Wholesome Cheeseburger

Here's what's so funny about this McDonald's ad from decades ago: It's going on and on about being all natural and sans preservatives. But isn't McDonald's harping on about that with their healthier options now? WHAT'S THE TRUTH, MCDONALD'S?

Coffee And Domestic Abuse

Hm, it would be nice if this coffee ad could focus on the coffee and less on a husband spanking his wife for not testing coffee freshness. Maybe this dude should stop being lazy and test the coffee himself. Damn.


Hey, nothing wrong with getting protein from meat. But Something tells me that eating that entire platter of processed meat isn't the key to keeping "trim."

Vitamins Give You Pep And Promote Sexism

Apparently back in the day, vitamins were the key to being the perfect domestic servant to your husband. Oh, and they also made you look cuter as you scrubbed the floors, did the laundry, and watched over the kids. Good to know.

A Nice, Nutritious Dr. Pepper

Dr. Pepper is literally sugar water with some coloring in it. Is the nutrition coming from the fizz or something?


Which of these ads is the most ridic to you? What other weird vintage things would you like to see covered? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!


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