I get a lot of emails from people that know I’m a health writer that stumble upon interesting articles. They shoot me the link, usually with a subject line of “Can you believe this!?” Today I logged in to find an article sent to me called “Serving Size Scams Can Make You Fat” from MSNBC.com. Excited to share with you all which foods are “marketed as lower in calories than they really are,” I opened the link.
Fail. This is what I found:
Serving Size Rip-Off: Campbell’s Chunky Microwaveable Soup
Listed calories: 200
Servings per container: 2
Total calories: 400
They then go on to claim it is ludicrous that one single microwavable cup is 2 servings because people will only eat it all in one sitting.
They list Pop Tarts (who only eats just one?) packages of ramen noodles, pot pies and more processed foods that anyone interested in eating healthy wouldn’t touch anyway as shady labeling offenders…because they have more than one serving per package.
Wait, wait, wait. So because most people will devour the food in one sitting, companies should change their serving sizes to one entire package? Valid point if you want to make it, but to say they are “scamming” people is making excuses for those who aren’t informed on how to properly read a nutrition label. All the information on the package is correct and legal- it is not the company’s fault you don’t know how to interpret it.
Labels don’t make you fat, it’s the amount of food you put in your mouth. If you read the labels, they all clearly state that there are multiple servings per package. No scam here. A better headline for the article? Learn How to Read a Nutrition Label So You Don’t Get Fat.
March 7th, 2012