Annoying News From the World of Calorie Counting

Well how’s your New Year’s resolution to diet working out?  Mmmmm

Yep.  Sucks huh?  You know what sucks even more?  Choking down the “diet”, “lighter” or “better for you” version of the thing you actually want …only to have this article on Lifehacker tell you that calorie claims can be quite… off.  UGH. Thanks guys.

They give examples of Lean Cuisines calorie content testing higher than the label and “Wendy’s grilled chicken wrap (one of the healthiest foods at Wendy’s) promised 260 but loaded in at 344 calories.”

Apparently: “frozen meal makers face stiff penalties for selling underweight packages, so they tend to err on the side of heavier portions. It’s a margin of error—20 percent, by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s reckoning.”

Then I came across this somewhat humorous article about how much exercise it would take to burn off popular fast food items.  For instance, Six Chicken McNuggets have 290 calories and 17 grams of fat -which they claim can be burned off with 9hrs of vigorous sex.  Giddy up- I guess…

We’ve been talking a lot about labeling lately and what kind of impact it has on a consumer’s choice. Interestingly, when Starbucks posted the calorie content, customers quickly switched to lower-calorie Starbucks foods. But they didn’t switch to lower-calorie beverages.

I also wrote a blog not long ago about Project Label that “strives to provide the consumer with a standardized way of comparing similar products in terms of the products’ social impacts.”

The key word for me is standardization… I know there has to be some wiggle room for portion sizes/weight but if there’s a hundred more calories in the product than what the label says then I seriously question if it’s worth it!


CultureWaves Blogger and Social Media Consultant Personal Twitter is: @salicious

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