Curious About Food Labels And Calorie CountsWBZ

Sometimes it feels like you need a degree in nutrition to figure out the labels on food, including the ingredients and the calories in a portion.

Sue from Holbrook found this frustrating and Declared her Curiosity, asking:

“In light of the obesity epidemic, why don’t food labels make it easier to compare food items?”

There have been some changes, but they don’t always help the average person eat less.


After years of serving sizes getting bigger and bigger, some are actually now getting smaller.

It’s a trend across the food industry.

“It’s a good thing to get the sizes down,” according to Boston University professor of nutrition Joan Salge Blake.

“I think that these larger sizes have played a role in the fact that people are unknowingly eating a lot of food.”

Now you can get a Peppermint Patty or an Almond Joy once piece at a time.

These candies are sold as small pieces and look like M&M’s.

Coke is marketing a mini can. It’s just 7.5 ounces and only 90 calories.


The idea is to let consumers indulge, but without overdoing it.

Salge Blake says the problem is most of us lose track of just how much we eat.

“You have several Munchkins, you just had a donut,” she said.

“So no matter what the shapes are, they add up. So again, we need to be able to keep the portions down, and the frequency down.”

We showed one shopper the new candy pieces and asked her if a serving would satisfy her.

“Of course not,” she said. “I’d probably go thru the whole bag.”

We asked another man if he thought one of these bags of candy contained seven servings.

He said only if you had really good self-control, adding if “you are home watching TV, you are going to eat the whole bag.”


This points to another challenge: figuring out just what constitutes an actual serving.

“When you look at containers that appear to be a single serving to the average Joe or Josephine on the street, but when you flip it over to the nutrition fact panel, you realize that there is 2

© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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