Beware of the Serving Size

You may be aware that the FDA is considering an overhaul of the nutrition labels that are commonly found on packaged food items. This consideration has brought new attention to packaging labels, highlighting how confusing and misleading they can be.

Nutrition labels were created in the 1990's. They were created to make it easy for consumers to understand the nutritional values of the foods on store shelves. They were created to make it easy to make healthy food choices. Where did things go awry?

Well, food companies are selling products, and they want us to buy the products. This means they create labels that often mislead consumers. A company may highlight that its soup is low in fat when it is teeming with sodium. It may show its cookies are low in fat, but neglect to highlight the enormous amount of sugar in them. And, it may market a "to go" bag of chips intended for one person as having 110 calories and 8 grams of fat when the bag actually contains 2 servings.

Don't wait for the notoriously slow FDA to make changes to the labeling system. Carefully read labels, and take special notice of the serving size. In many cases, you may need to double the serving size to get an accurate calorie, sodium, fat, and sugar count.

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