1

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Anyone else surprised by the inaccuracy of nutrition labels?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 14, 2013 at 6:09 AM

New opinion article from the New York Times about how inaccurate the calorie counts on nutrition labels can be. In one item he tested, it measured almost twice the calories that was listed on the label. While this was not exactly scientific it was still telling.

Maybe this is why it can be so hard to lose weight even when counting calories.

This probably means all the numbers for the macronutrients and minerals are all off too!

Anyone else surprised by this?

Now that I think about this I guess I can't say that I am.

C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de

(1579)

on February 14, 2013
at 07:30 PM

In terms of energy, all calories are the same, which can be useful knowledge to get a sense of how much you're eating. However, TnQ is right in that our bodies use different foods in different ways. 100 calories of protein is very different than 100 calories of sugar to the body. This affects metabolic patterns and hormone levels which DO influence weight control.

A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on February 14, 2013
at 12:33 PM

True, I'm not surprised either way. Whenever the gov't and/or big business is involved I am always suspicious.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 14, 2013
at 12:24 PM

Disagree that counting calories is rather pointless. It's a simple way of quantifying your dietary intake (macros don't matter significantly either). Of course, you don't know how much you're burning, so a target intake number is harder to pin down. But knowing you lose 1 pound per week on 1800 calories a day, means your maintenance is 2300 calories per day. That's all that's needed for weight loss maintenance and it works.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 14, 2013
at 10:29 AM

I am not surprised by the inaccuracy of anything the government does not strictly regulate.

Dd74e6399ae697d8603dc9aa74fbafae

(695)

on February 14, 2013
at 08:43 AM

In that case, I stand corrected.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 14, 2013
at 08:37 AM

believe it or not, not all calories are the same...the "how much energy that is needed to heat a kilogram of water one kelvin" thing applies to a 'scientific' calorie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie. A "food calorie" is different, more details here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atwater_system & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_energy

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 14, 2013
at 08:32 AM

believe it or not, not all calories are the same...the "how much energy that is needed to heat a kilogram of water one kelvin" thing applies to a 'scientific' calorie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie. A food calorie is different, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atwater_system & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_energy

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4 Answers

2
A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on February 14, 2013
at 09:08 AM

I am not surprised by the inaccuracy of anything the government regulates.

A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on February 14, 2013
at 12:33 PM

True, I'm not surprised either way. Whenever the gov't and/or big business is involved I am always suspicious.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 14, 2013
at 10:29 AM

I am not surprised by the inaccuracy of anything the government does not strictly regulate.

0
F299706618ad5d2c014130cb35d07dcf

on February 14, 2013
at 04:48 PM

I'm not surprised either! I'm a type one diabetic and when companies mess up carb counts on foods I pay the price of high blood sugar. It's really frustrating.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 14, 2013
at 12:26 PM

I'm not at all surprised that food prepared by minimum wage workers doesn't match the food prepared by highly-paid food scientists in labs. And given that everything he tested was too high, that tells you something about how minimum wage workers prepare your food, they actively try and give you more for your money.

0
Dd74e6399ae697d8603dc9aa74fbafae

(695)

on February 14, 2013
at 07:57 AM

Not surprised.

However, in regards to your statement about counting calories; calorie counting is still a rather pointless activity. It only states how much energy that is needed to heat a kilogram of water one kelvin. It is completely irrelevant in terms of measuring absorption and utilization in an organism. Counting calories completely ignores both the individual differences in metabolism, and our collective ability as a species to absorb the different nutrients in various states and forms. A bit off-topic I know, but "even when counting calories" does not really improve weight control :)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 14, 2013
at 08:37 AM

believe it or not, not all calories are the same...the "how much energy that is needed to heat a kilogram of water one kelvin" thing applies to a 'scientific' calorie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie. A "food calorie" is different, more details here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atwater_system & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_energy

Dd74e6399ae697d8603dc9aa74fbafae

(695)

on February 14, 2013
at 08:43 AM

In that case, I stand corrected.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 14, 2013
at 08:32 AM

believe it or not, not all calories are the same...the "how much energy that is needed to heat a kilogram of water one kelvin" thing applies to a 'scientific' calorie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie. A food calorie is different, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atwater_system & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_energy

C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de

(1579)

on February 14, 2013
at 07:30 PM

In terms of energy, all calories are the same, which can be useful knowledge to get a sense of how much you're eating. However, TnQ is right in that our bodies use different foods in different ways. 100 calories of protein is very different than 100 calories of sugar to the body. This affects metabolic patterns and hormone levels which DO influence weight control.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 14, 2013
at 12:24 PM

Disagree that counting calories is rather pointless. It's a simple way of quantifying your dietary intake (macros don't matter significantly either). Of course, you don't know how much you're burning, so a target intake number is harder to pin down. But knowing you lose 1 pound per week on 1800 calories a day, means your maintenance is 2300 calories per day. That's all that's needed for weight loss maintenance and it works.

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