Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Do nutrition facts panels make weight management more difficult?

Honestly, how does anyone stand a chance?

So our dietitian Joanne Kurtz decided to buy some whole grain mini pitas.

Looking at the back of the bag she clearly saw that 1 serving was listed as 2 pitas which weighed 14grams and contained 40 calories.

Being a dietitian, and moreover a dietitian whose work involves helping folks with weight management (and hence someone who talks and looks at lots of labels), she knew something was fishy so she cracked out her trusty scale.

What'd she find?

She found that each pita weighed 20grams, that's 185% more than the 7grams it was supposed to weigh.

Of course that also means the nutrition facts panel underestimates calories by 185%.

So even if you're watching your calories, even if you're diarizing what you're eating, even if you're doing everything right, if you trust your nutrition facts panels and you don't actually crack out your digital scale to double check your labels, you might be eating more than twice as many calories as you had thought.

Nearly three times as many calories does not help with weight management.